Monday, June 22, 2015

Brand Manager Frustrations

Often, I encounter frustrated brand managers who are responsible for their brands’ equities but who do not have the jurisdiction to control all of the variables that result in their brands’ equities. Here are some examples:
  • People throughout a highly decentralized organization are creating communication material using the brand’s identity, often incorrectly.
  • The sales force is empowered to create brand communications without any oversight.
  • The organization’s leadership team agrees to what the brand stands for and what its unique promise is, but the brand manager has no authority over most customer touch points.
  • The brand manager is incented to invest in the brand but most other people throughout the organization are incented to cut costs in a way that undermines the brand.
  • A separate department is licensing the brand to whoever is willing to pay for its use, even if that use conflicts with what the brand is supposed to stand for.
  • The organization’s management believes that the least painful way to cuts costs is to slash the brand’s marketing budget.
  • Someone else in the organization is responsible for discounting the sales price of (that is, promoting) the brand’s products and services.

Here are some solutions to this dilemma:
  • Work with the HR department to redesign the organization in greater support of the brand.
  • Learn how to become a master influencer with compelling stories that win others over.
  • Create a robust yet flexible brand identity system and standards.
  • Establish a digital asset management system that provides maximum control over use of the brand’s identity.
  • Make the organization’s leadership team aware of the issues associated with effectively managing the brand.
  • Lobby to take on all responsibilities that are required to control delivery against the brand’s promise.
  • Head up a cross-functional brand identity oversight group.
  • Establish rigorous criteria for extending the brand into new product and service categories, including through brand licensing.
  • Spearhead a brand customer touch point design workshop with senior leadership's endorsement.
  • Lobby to establish key brand management measures as a part of a balanced scorecard.
  • Regularly report progress against key brand metrics to the organization’s leadership team.
  • Provide regular brand management seminars, presentations and readings to the organization’s management team.

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