Branding for Board-level brand virgins – PART 2

This is the second post on the subject of helping the board get what branding is really all about. In the last post we looked at cut-through and customer focus. This time we’ll cover consistency and commitment from the top.

Consistency over time
Take a brand and get the last 10-15 year’s communication and brand logos. Chances are, it will look like a drunken sailor zig zagging his way across the sea. Chop, change, chop, change…often prompted by the arrival of a new marketing director.

Contrast this with one of the most consistent brands of all time, Absolut. Next time the agency says "the campaign is worn out", perhaps remind them that Absolut and TBWA have done, wait for it, 1400 executions.

Consistency over the mix
This one is about getting the whole of the mix aligned and coherent. Requires the company to run things top-down with the brand leading, rather than bottom-up where every bit of the business does their own thing. Easy to say. Hard to do.

I love this example of Porsche transforming their showrooms from shoddy garages to palaces of desire.


Commitment from the top
And we finish back where we started, with the board of directors and the CEO. And if they don’t live walk the brand talk and align their own behaviour, you of course ain’t got a hope in hell of being brand-led.

The challenges for leaders are visualised below: starting by fixing the product and service so people are proud of it. I posted on how this is a key driver of commitment. Then, hiring the right people and changing measurement so that on-brand actions get rewarded. And then, communicating not through what they say, but what they DO.

There you have it. Basic stuff, but may be of help if you have to try and explain to a branding virgin what its all about. Little summary below.