A good white paper on modern branding
Although the thinking behind the modern concept of global branding has been known by (good) specialists for a while, Minter and Eric make it come to life very nicely in the current social and economic context. The key ideas can be summarized as follows;
• The brand starts within the company. A brand cannot be authentic if the daily experience of staff is far away from the value and attributes the brand wants to convey to its customers. This requires a refreshed / revamped approach to management.
• In the present context, building a brand is more complex because of cluttered markets, difficulties to differentiate, and people’s suspicion towards institution and companies.
• Companies must be more agile, and adapt faster to a very fluid environment. Marketing must not only communicate the value of the products but create emotions. Traditional 4P marketing must be complemented by 5 E marketing; essence, engagement, exchange, emotion, experience.
• In order to create strong emotional bonds between the brand and its client, companies must focus on relationship (Note: I would have added and on dialogue).
• Employees become (are) a key vector to create and pass on the emotion. In this context, sharing the Values in an authentic way within the whole company becomes critical
As a consequence of the above, brand building does not belong any longer to a small group consisting of brand managers, corporate marketing, communication, and advertising agencies. Brand building must be embedded into the overall management system. In order to make this happen, the authors recommend creating a Brand University operating on 3 fundamental principles; make the company client centric, focus on the human element, build a learning organization (they very rightly point out that this goes way beyond investing into training). The initiative must be decided and clearly sponsored by the leadership team, and must focus on; sharing values, creating sense and cohesion, empowering people, mixing ages and grades.
This summary does not give justice to the quality and depth of the white paper. So, I encourage everyone to read the whole it here.
I like this work a lot because with a relatively simple wording it explains the essence of what brand and brand experience are (or should be). The thinking behind is holistic and systemic: it considers the company and its environment as a whole, and focuses about relationship between the different constituencies. Doing this, Minter and Eric describe the essence of modern marketing; connecting a company to its business ecosystem. They also once again demonstrate the wisdom of one of the few Guru statements that resist time: Innovation and Marketing are the key functions upon which the success of brands is built.