Dec 27, 2010

Brand Performance Management Through Positioning, Execution and Experience!

According to traditional thinking, brands are built through marketing investments such as communications and advertising. Although advertising is a tool of brand building but it is a loud kind of thing in its importance to delivering an exceptional brand. Exceptional brands are delivered through brand alignment of which advertising may be a component or in some cases may be not present altogether. The right example of exceptional brand is Google. It is one of the most recognized brands in the world. It is ranked at number seven on Inter-brand’s Best Global Brands 2009. Yet, do people ever recall it by seeing a Google advertisement on television, radio or print? Google’s CEO has stated that Google’s dominant market share is because of quality of searches and not advertising.
To deliver a strong brand experience for customers the organization needs to develop strong internal alignment with the brand among internal stakeholders and resources, and strong external alignment with external stakeholders, partners, customers and consumers. This alignment is known as “of brand visionaries, of brand providers and of brand believers”. Brand visionaries are managers who set the brand strategy in motion. They are concerned with making promises of value propositions to the customer. This focus demands customer intimacy to understand customer needs and self-reflection to understand company and partner capabilities. The role of brand visionaries is to help facilitate the promises about the brand providers ’ role in enabling and facilitating promises about Value Proposition to customers. 
Brand providers are in charge of how the brand is delivered. Frontline staff and delivery channels are responsible for the interactive co-creation of meaning and experience that embodies the value propositions of the brand. Operational excellence insures this interactive marketing consistently delivers on the brand promise. A strong brand provides a consistent way to polarize multiple micro decisions, so they reinforce each other in a way that is synergistic. Furthermore, the brand reward system needs to reflect the value of the brand to align goals and metrics. Front-line employees are brand ambassadors. They represent the brand and can bring it to life for the customer beyond what is possible with media communications, by making it personal. This concept of brand ambassador is essentially a role for management in aligning employees within the corporation. Managers need to build a vision of company strategy. They also need to bring that strategy to life by building a company culture that embodies the essence of that strategy. How Asia Builds Strong Brands
Consistency across the brand portfolio is a necessary element of strong brand strategy. Brand consistency is driven by a strong brand vision to guide what the brand providers are to deliver. By establishing consistency over the portfolio the new brands launched not only are supported by the legacy brands, but the legacy brands are revived and revitalized by the new brands. Strong brands align their external promises to their internal operations. 
Brands need to be aligned to markets and for developed world companies there is a tendency to over-invest in mature markets and under-invest in emerging markets. Delivery of strong brands does not take place in a vacuum. Brand partners need to be aligned to deliver on the brand promise. And brands need to be aligned with pulses in the market. Companies need to pay attention to aligning strategy and execution. There are different needs for structuring around radical versus incremental Innovation so companies need to pay attention to their structures to make things work.

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