September 17th, 2009
One hot topic…. Brand. In the blogosphere, in magazines, newspapers, books. Turn around find another voice… brand, Brand, BRAND, Brand, BRAND!
Trouble is, with all of these voices shouting about the importance of brand (it goes without saying, we believe it is uber critical), the truth of the message, the completeness of it, is lost. Truncated, watered down to fit, or misunderstood in the minimalization of it. Reduced to an easy to fit concept – the greatest common divisor becomes Brand = Marketing Plan.
Reality Check: “Brand is not just something to look at. Brand is something to do!”™ For years, for a homogenized, TV-satiated public, brand was all about the image. Logo’s, simple tag lines, a pithy ad pitch. Iconic images drove the concept of brand. Truth is, brand has as much (or more) to do with operations, R&D, hiring programs and selecting strategic partners as it does a cool image or the color blue. A marketing plan is no longer sufficient.
Fast-forward. Customers are savvy, communication has become multi-directional, and your next competitor, with new and improved, lurks around the bend. Brand must come to reflect its full dimensional definition. Brand is the totality of everything that you collectively contribute as an organization.™ As such it is the integral story line of the strategic plan, shaping mission, values and message. Brand guides the tactical implementation of the overall mission as it is shaped and woven into operational plans – production, H/R, engineering, and yes marketing.
Brand has graduated, moved from the tactical world of campaigns, pitches and 10 second elevator spiels to the boardroom. Today’s organizations need a relevant, authentic brand. No longer secreted away in marketing, but understood, honored and cared for by the complete organization.