|When two brand organisations partner, one linkage leads to another|
2) essence link?
3) future news link?
4) additive core competence strategy?
5) organisational process interfaces and team networking?
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LEVELS of brand ¡ ¡ ¡
|Table 1 : Exploring Architectural connections : brand<->organisation<->strategy|
·leadership of world class quality and value
·going beyond the classic organisational form of brand management to inter-departmental networking of marketing skills and other added value schools of thinking, eg innovation
·banner branding of world class goodwill across marketing territories
·aligning meanings of leadership for all stakeholders of the company
·interconnecting specifications of brands, core competences and organisational systems
·clarify competition and partnership priorities across added value chain of sphere of business·branding as partnership strategy between different companies
¡ ||| ¡ ¡ ¡ |||||||| ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ |||||||||||| ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡
LEVELS of brand ¡ ¡ ¡
|<->|| ¡ ||| ¡ ¡ ¡ |||||||| ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ |||||||||||| ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ |
LEVELS of brand ¡ ¡ ¡
|Table 2 : Primary investment in branding evolves from...|
|...product level (bottom-up)||...company level (top-down)|
|·Classic (fragmented) brand management|
·Line or business unit performance measurement
·Short-term is prioritised
·In-between customers often come first
·Core products are today's volume sellers
·Partnership strategies are sometimes completely absent in intent or practice
|·New integrated brand organisation process (eg new Gillette, see ThinkPiece 1)|
·Organisation-wide alignment and appraisal
·Medium-term is prioritised
·End-consumers and employees come first (feedback loop leads each other)
·Core products are marketing pathways
·Partnership strategy has at least as high a priority as competitive strategy
| Table 3 : Future of branding - debating case : Heinz UK of 1994|
·Heinz had for decades (70s/80s) one of the largest advertising budgets amongst food products associated with a single brand distributed through UK supermarkets. However, investment in its brand architecture was increasingly devoted to fragmented messages in support of its best selling individual lines. With advertising weight often geared to biggest product volumes, sustained campaigning around Beanz Meanz Heinz eventually left many consumers with the reverse impression that Heinz Meanz Beanz.
·Heinz (1994/5) deserted advertising for direct marketing as its primary medium. There is a view that suggests Heinz missed an extraordinary broadcasting opportunity. What if Heinz brand strategy had adopted a change in brand architecture equivalent to that which transformed the meaning of Gillette into the lifestyle "the best a man can get"?
Example of Heinz-first lifestyle advertising campaignCreate and continuously direct a consumer-exciting script revolving around the brand essence: "Heinz loves families" :
showing a day in the life of Heinz with -
·babies gurgling over baby food,
·children lapping up beans and nutrition,
·teenagers relishing ketchup,
·adults loving salad cream
Add to this seasonal episodes such as the family coming home in winter to heart-warming bowls of Heinz soups (possibly served in a co-branded range of uniquely designed soup bowls and mugs); and other integrated PR storylines directing the Heinz banner to be at home with being the UK consumers' most loved grocery brandWhat might have happened if this brand script had over the years been fully orchestrated with advertising playing the lead role in an integrated marketing mix? We conclude that there is organisational added value in periodically stepping back to review your brand architecture and indeed having one person constantly charged with sifting through the biggest possible ideas evolving strategic and organisational perspectives of branding as a core business process. If Heinz is currently missing out on an exciting breadth of consumer relationships, the brand history suggests that the company was not architecturally able to foresee all the creative alternatives that the banner branding of Heinz could offer.
|Table 4 : How Macintosh's launch and Apple's architecture "sneaked" up on IBM pc |
Industry analysts and media representatives were amongst Apple's most important pre-launch audiences. For them, we put on a series of "sneaks" (previews) around the country; all told, sixty individual seven-hour presentations to pave the way for a successful introduction. Not only would the Macintosh product be unveiled at these sessions, but people got to meet creative leaders of Apple's business team including Steve Jobs, myself and members of the design team.A group of 'luminaries' and key decision makers was also chosen to receive free Apple Macintoshes. Our annual report went on to feature eleven of these 'great imaginations' experimenting with Macintosh: entrepreneur Ted Turner; novelist Kurt Vonnegut; Vietnam Veterans Memorial designer Maya Lin; ballet master Peter Martins; designer Milton Glaser; Muppet creator Jim Henson; San Francisco mayor Dianne Feinstein; composer and Lyricist Stephen Sondheim; Life's magazine art director Bob Ciano; Lee Iacocca, and David Rockefeller. Odyssey - Pepsi to Apple, John Sculley
|Table 5 : The way brands were in 1990|
"Double-branding" rebuilds corporate brand hierarchies and can be used to evolve internationally recognised brand umbrellas. The ideal of double-branding is to offer a global aspiration with a local touch. Corporate added value is derived from the brand umbrella which translates business leadership into a unique social style.
What's in a name?. Sony's Walkman, Schweppes Indian Tonic water and Ford's Escort illustrate the predominant pattern in branding today - most products are being born with more than one brand name.
An appropriate analogy is to think of brands having surnames and forenames. Typically, the surname depicts the company or the family which the brand belongs to, while the forename identifies the individual product line. Several ideas flow from this analogy:
·The surname should be the constant guarantee of quality, the credentials which a company (or a subsidiary) rallies round. It should epitomise the breadth and depth of tradition that is founded in the interrelationships between the company's expertise and image, and its audiences' demands and expectations. Forenames represent the different product members of the family. They can exhibit their own personalities, functionally and imagewise, so far as they remain loyal to the reputation and sense of style which the family's name evokes.
·Given a choice between a world class surname or forename, the surname will open more doors. As a family name it can be marketed to unite relationships across borders, whereas forenames are more readily positioned for local nicknames.
Historically, the use of branding surnames and forename has often reflected little more than the desire to display who own's whom. As markets converge and world class alliances increasingly make just-in-time business sense, we should expect to see increasingly creative uses of double-branding including arranged marriages of brands. They may literally aim to offer the consumer the best of both their worlds.
Many companies will need to shift allocations of their communications budgets towards family names and away from individual progeny. Or, where the forename has a world class aura, they should consider incorporating it as its own surname subsidiary. Chris Macrae, World Class Brands
|Table 6 : The tactical brand that gets out of its league|
Here is a typical case which we have encountered during more client projects than we wish to count. For obvious reasons, we will not cite any branded examples by name.
The brand is conceived for a specific tactical purpose, such as being a value for money offer within the category. Typically, a manufacturer who also owns the brand leader may do this so that the lower added value end of the market is controlled. The tactical brand is then aiming to:
·offer value to consumers who only want to buy on price
·give retailers a sufficiently good deal that they see no reason to develop their own label brands
·contain the size of the value for money segment to be no bigger than is necessary to account for these specified consumer and retailer needs
Over time, these original aims of the brand are forgotten in the organisation. This memory lapse often creeps in bit by bit. Perhaps, a new brand manager adds some fancy packaging to make the brand more attractive at point of sale. Perhaps, a creative supplier - unaware of the brand's original script - adds some cheerful personality to the brand, with the result that it starts to be marketed as more cheerful than cheap.
Suddenly, the unexpected (or to the Brand Charterer the predictable) happens. A competitor, or a retailer own label, launches into the cheap end of the market. And the embarrassing thing is that the tactical brand is no longer competitive because its total offer is no longer low cost to market. It has got caught in no-man's land as neither top quality nor top price-fighter. Its share of the market erodes, often irreparably so. Worse still the brand leader, which it was devised to protect, has been made highly vulnerable. There is now a live competitor trying to draw everyone it can into the bottom of the market. And that is how many strongly branded markets have over time been reduced to little more than commodity status.
None of this needs to happen. The tactical brand is one of the easiest of all to charter. All its management team needs to do is stay totally focused on its founding aims :
· to ensure that nobody else is lower total cost to market· staying dedicated to the consumer and retailer values that were defined at the brand's conception
|Table 7 : Upcoming perspectives on the dynamism of brand architecture|
·Agree your own terminology for architectural special effects
·Taking a quantum leap with a brand's level
·Catalogue "game rules" presenting new architectural styles
·Internalisation of new brand architecture is a big change management challenge
·Marrying a brand architecture to partner another company
| Table 8 : Elida Gibbs, an organisational revolution - innovation and presentation|
In 1991, Elida Gibbs started to change its organisational form. Unilever has gone on to create "Institute" innovation centres of excellence such as that for Elida hair products in Paris and those for Ponds and other skin care products in Hamburg and New York. Says Unilever Chairman Sir Michael Perry "these innovation centres focus research, development and marketing with a brief to generate things for the whole world. It is a very exciting model that enables you to work much more effectively and much more responsibly".
To present these foci to consumers, the Institute is evolving within Unilever's brand language. Thus the global roll out of Unilever's newest shampoo brand features "Organics from Elida Institute, Paris". Supporting PR advises cosmopolitan consumers to keep a look out on their travels for Institute showrooms open to consumers like that on Paris's Champs Elysee. Meanwhile, the Ponds Institute is being featured in commercials as the consumer-oriented laboratory source for Pond's expanding range of skin care products. Corresponding PR coverage of this appears in advertorial columns in women's magazines.
|Table 9 : Think before your brand extensions gets out of control|
The question of how far to extend a brand overlooks the more fundamental question of how to extend a brand.
Many brand leveraging efforts rely on solely one strategy : the direct extension of a brand across product categories. This can put valuable brands at risk with the extraordinary strength of an existing brand's association interfering with customers ability to learn new associations. Instead, marketers can bypass the risk of direct extensions by leveraging brands indirectly across categories. As the following examples show, the marketing key is to link the brand to an association that has enough flexibility to provide a platform for both current positioning and subsequent leveraging:
The new umbrellaIn the US, Anheuser-Busch created the Eagle brand for its honey roast peanuts as part of a strategic platform for launching other products. The Eagle banner was easily extendible to a variety of different snack foods. (The Eagle is also a prominent part of Anheuser's Busch's corporate heritage appearing on the corporate crest).
The renewed umbrellaAunt Jemima is famous in America for its association with pancakes. Recently, the company began promoting a broader association by moving from a product category, pancakes, to a usage situation, breakfast. This association comes naturally to American consumers (as breakfast is prime time for eating pancakes) and has enabled Aunt Jemima to extend to various breakfast lines.
Sub-brandingSub-branding can be a key to modifying the meaning of a master brand. It does this by directing attention to the intended new meaning of the master brand in a way that makes it easier for customers to link the master brand with a target category extension.
Sub-branding devices can upmarket the brand's value range Holiday Inn has re-branded its top of the market hotels as Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza. Through prominence of the phrase Sony Trinitron, Sony televisions add in their own branded technology. Successive product generations of Procter & Gamble's Ariel brand have progressed through Ariel to Ariel Ultra to Ariel Future (Ultra).
|Table 2 : Double-branding of consumer perceptions at 3M, and at Nestle|
(extracted from the video "Branding - the Marketing Advantage", from BBC for Business)
Here we replay interviews recorded on video by BBC for Business featuring two practitioner accounts of how a conscious decision to implement double-branding works to establish leadership perceptions in the minds of consumers. Note how quickly this accelerates trust in the guarantee of the corporate brand, and establishes its own banner credentials to connect up with other brands and products. As chapter 2 explained consumers are now highly literate in the multiple ways that they can identify with a brand. A loyal consumer, who recognises his/her brand through ten different identifiers, becomes even more delighted if a new identifier turns out to be another famous brand provided that the new double-branding offer is harmonious and appears to offer the best of both brands' worlds3M"One of the issues for 3M in branding is the use of brand of Scotch and 3M. From my perspective being focused on the consumer market, then Scotch brand is the key brand that we advertise. But we do want the name of 3M to be better known. I want people to say yes it's Scotch brand - I'm going to buy that video tape and also to say "Ah and it's by 3M - yes 3M make other products that I like too, like Post-it notes, like adhesives and so on". It's these sorts of connections that I want the consumer to make more strongly. And then I hope in the future they will take the brand either Scotch or 3M and say "Ah that's a Scotch brand, or a 3M brand - all of the products I have tried under that brand have delighted me, they've met my need and served me well, I'll try this one". Because 3M is always going to be bringing out new products."
Nestle"Increasingly more and more branding effort is being put into what Nestle stands for. Simultaneously, brands bought in business acquisitions - eg Kit Kat form Rowntree - are re-badged now with Nestle's name and logo very prominently alongside Kit Kat. The idea is that both brands can contribute to each other. So Kit Kat's leading position in the UK and strong consumer loyalty can rub off on Nestle, and meanwhile Nestle can now launch Kit Kat in other parts of Europe where Kit Kat isn't known but Nestle is."
|Table 3 - Internal brand re-organisation prior to externalised double-branding |
As recently as 1990, Jean-Noel Kapferer was citing 3M as "a typical case illustrating the problems of brand proliferation. Although it ranks 29th in the Fortune 500 index and sells 60,000 products worldwide, 3M is rather poorly known with only 25% of people familiar with what 3M does. This poor level of awareness creates a real shortcoming in one of the major roles of a corporate brand : to endorse. 3M does not really act as it should as a power brand. The roots of this situation lie in 3M's brand proliferation policy : 1500 product brands with each receiving too little financial support to compete properly. Furthermore, the effect is to create a screen, hiding the corporation 3M."
In the days described by Kapferer, 3M's marketing department was creating as many as 100 new brands a year. First, a virtual moratorium was put on this - so that now few if any new brands are created. Second, a lot of product brands were culled - typically by renaming them with 3M followed by the generic product descriptor. Third, as part of 3M's continuing re-organisation towards customer divisions and away from national ones, opportunities have been taken to undepartmentalise marketing. Marketers have increasingly become business managers and vice versa.
In Nestle's marketing hall of horrors, there is a famous picture of the Kit Kats that were bought when Rowntree was acquired in 1988. Almost every country manager had created his/her own design of Kit Kat. It was not strongly managed international brands that Nestle bought from Rowntree, but their potential to be re-organised as great international marketing platforms to the particular corporate advantage of Nestle's banner brand. Before Nestle's double-branding strategy could work : it had to converge the designs of Kit Kat; converge local managers' views of what was the essential meaning of Kit Kat; re-organise ways of working so that national marketing and international branding were harmonious partners. Considering the changes that had to be made, Kit Kat's sales have started to boom as an European brand in a surprisingly short time. Having shown that this could be achieved even with Kit Kat - one of the worst cases of over-localised design interpretation ever perpetrated by a single company across Europe - a similar process has been accelerated with other acquired sub-brands. Over the last few years, confirmation of the increased power of Nestle's corporate brand equity has come from the brand's leap into top 10 rankings of global brand awareness. This is an extraordinary turnround in brand fortune. Not much more than a decade ago, Nestle's corporate brand had little visibility. Worse still, it had a tarnished image among lobby groups who felt that Nestle was over-aggressive in its marketing of infant milk formulas in developing countries.
|As recently as 1990, who would have thought that American Express & Virgin would co-brand?|
Writing in 1995 it's too early to say whether press advertising featuring these brands' combined messages ( seen eg in The Times of London) are a local co-branding affair or the first visible signs of a longer-term business alliance. The immediate consumer proposition is "Fly free faster - with Membership Rewards (from American Express) and Virgin Freeway".
What might have seemed totally opposite corporate personalities five years ago, do find a union in terms of each being a brand whose consumer vitality depends on a "with-it" platform. Behind the varied lifestyle interpretations of this driving need are service businesses with very different core competences, but maybe that's how two service businesses can most profitably form a "glocal" (global and local) network to be more than the sum of their parts.
In the BBC for Business video on branding, a detailed journalistic cross-examination of American Express reveals this brand's mission to be the number 1 service brand in the world. This video portrait shows an Amex that is banking on being the first to establish a world class membership club of VIPs (which now appear to be visioned as a global network not just of the wealthy but the entrepreneurial too). To support this infrastructure, Amex will invest whatever it takes in smart cards and IT technology to customise messages circulated to its club members. It already has its own channel for two-way customer relationships through the brand's monthly correspondence which is set to evolve from what is temporarily the medium of "a bill through the mail" but is being fashioned to serve increasingly customised incentives. These already include:
·the Membership Rewards program (loyalty points are being transformed into an international currency which, unlike the ECU, can been spent directly on offers of various global service businesses from Virgin's Airline network to hotel networks like Forte)
·computerised personal message columns on local happenings activated by an individual member's purchasing history at the stores he or she uses most.It's fairly clear what Virgin gets from American Express : a foot-in-the-door to a program which may yet out-pace its giant rival's sub-brands Air Miles and Executive Club - loyalty programs which through 1985-95 have done much to make British Airways the world's favourite airline amongst many global business travellers. Arguably, Branson ends the 20th century as one of the western world's most entrepreneurially daring business people. For example, see chapter 12 for Branson's part in the Virgin-Cott vision to challenge the added value chains of the world's biggest product brands like Coca-Cola. It may be that a little each-way image investment in leaders who appear to be entrepreneurially re-distributing global and local wealth - on top of being the club with status for the established wealthy - is a savvy Amex platform for communicating new-millennium values. Or even more simply, if we worked in American Express, we would enjoy being refreshed by having some sort of continuing dialogue with those animating the Virgin way of marketing as well as respecting the more classical American Express disciplines for marketing financial services.
|We are the nation's most powerful brand.|
We do not partner suppliers.
Innovation is not our job.
Me-toos of manufacturers' brands gives great value to our customers.
And in our service business, front-line employees have no training on what consumer essence we intend to communicate; nor do senior managers share a view on what this is.
Impromptu view of a buyer of a supermarket chain