Chapter 6 : brand MASTERBRIEFING
Today, any brand process must govern holistically over a selection of media options which is fragmenting and multiplying in an alarming manner (as table 1 shows). Two opening reasons why masterbriefing of a brand process should be important to you involve the obvious and the not-so-obvious:
·with availability of a lot of different media the brand's total impact must-needs to be integrated
·media are not created equal - ie they are capable of making different sorts of contribution to the brand
|Table 1 - a neverending choice of media|
·advertising spots (television, video, poster, press, radio) appearing in regional, national or international forms
·sponsorship of program material (ranging from "this program is brought to you by..." to advertorials, ie media forms in which the distinction between program content and commercial message is blurred)
·sponsorship of events (eg from global sports to local community festivals)
·taking a public stand on an issue (eg The Body Shop gained continental fame by being one of the first brands to petition against an EC directive. This related to cosmetics and "animal testing")
·cosmopolitan visibility, eg through franchised outlets in all the world's most fashionable shopping arcades to being displayed at airports' duty free shops a channel which in itself stimulates jetsetters-word-of-mouth
·own news stages (from owning the media like Disney to creating a media event like Beaujolais' global birthday party)
·being an integral part of world news (eg McDonald's Moscow opening)
·co-branding, ie where two brands share a promotional platform
·corporate identity and brand signage
·your people as media who serve the brand's lifestyle or represent its competence leadership
·sampling (ranging from through letter box, to in somebody else's store, to in your own boutique (eg Haagen-Daz's ice cream parlours) to high traffic locations (eg your capital city's largest railway station) to high visibility places (from first class air cabins to spectators at Prince Charles' last polo match)
·point of sales material
·points of service contact (eg in most banks the most common point of contact has evolved away from the service counter inside the bank to the automated 24-hour cash dispenser outside the bank and will evolve in a future cashless society to ordering from "smart-coded voice-activated in-home banking-menus")
·fashionable product placement eg in films and film stars' wardrobes
·a leaflet inside the product packaging
·consumer feedback mechanisms such as free telephone hotlines for dialogue about the brand
·collectors' schemes, loyalty clubs
·one to one direct/database marketing (postal media, computer media, and one day computerised multimedia)etc
It is no easy matter choosing between media forms of such abundance, as the practitioner comments in Table 2 illustrate.
|Table 2 : Media and Practice - Extracts from the video "Branding - the Marketing Advantage", from BBC for Business|
I am constantly bombarded with offers to advertise here, support this, sponsor that. The key focus has to be to know your consumer and how to get at them, but then to say what are the opportunities. Sometimes the new opportunities can be useful because they allow you to get at a discreet segment of that market, more efficiently or more cost-effectively - particularly if it's new and it's keen to get new advertisers on board. (Chris Hobbs, 3M)
I guess traditionally it has been very easy for marketers to communicate with their consumers because they've had a series of tools - broadcast television, PR, press etc and those have had extraordinary reach against a broad mass of consumers. The problem is that nowadays consumer groups - and the media they use - are segmenting. It's necessary to talk to them in different ways.
(Claire Watson, Haagen-Dazs)
A key problem is developing a totally integrated communications mix because different creative suppliers provide these services and historically people have been given briefs at different moments of time and these have not really connected together. It's as if the brand has evolved without a master briefing and you end up with components of the brand in conflict with each other which consumers can see even if their brand marketers can't. (Chris Macrae)
As a customer you receive quite a bit of direct mail from us and if you lay out all the pieces of communication across the table, we actually did this exercise, and if you looked at each one, you would say "All these communications look like they come from 20 different companies". And they did. And we were losing impact with the customer...So we said right, we must address this. We've come up with some guidelines and rules for developing a consistent tone of voice and a consistent looking feel for our brand, so now going forward any type of communication we send you looks as if it is coming from American Express.
(Russ Shaw, American Express)Most brands including product brands are now more or less service brands and they really have to be delivered, irritatingly, by things that walk around on two legs. It's a human thing, and you know humans have to be motivated in order to keep on performing at a high level. (Chris Mole, Coopers & Lybrand)
As well as the issue of proliferating media, there are other questions like:
- how the costs of playing the game are changing?
- what performance measurements are used to judge the success or failure of particular media investments?
Many people know that the most powerful branding media work on medium term consumer loyalty; many organisations prioritise short-term performance measures which can lead to brand spends that actually demote the brand's command of loyalty. In 1986, David Ogilvy said this. He was referring to a blight in American brand management, but how much of it is even more critically today in markets near you.
|"Advertising is going through a bad period. Commercial clutter is worse than ever. The cost of media has ballooned. The cost of commercial production is scandalous. The problem of client conflicts is driving agencies round the bend. Worst of all, the trend to cut advertising budgets in favour of below-the-line deals is out of control. Do you realise what is going on? Manufacturers of package goods are now spending twice as much on below-the-line deals as on advertising. To put it another way, they are sending twice as much on price-cutting as on building brands. Manufacturers are buying volume by price discounting, instead of earning it the old-fashioned way using advertising to build strong brand franchises. Manufacturers are in fact trading consumers to buy on price instead of brand"|
So, as well as day to day selection criteria, marketers need to have their own guiding principles on efficient use of media. You increasingly need to get your principles "signed off" by the corporate hierarchy just to steer a consistent course through the high pressure environment and politics of day to day management. Examples:
·The media we choose must add to each other both as an integrated representation of the brand to the consumer and as a leadership mission for employees
·Media effectiveness is not a static thing. The practitioner who takes a pioneer's advantage of a strong new media often gains disproportionately. Then crowds of followers make the novelty of the media or its increasing cost less effective. Often, the pioneer can continue to win from this situation provided privileged terms of access (or even ownership) of the media were negotiated from inception. Medium-term entrepreneurialism in building media does need to be rewarded.
·Strong use of some media involves a greater learning curve than others. "Glocal" marketing organisations pride themselves in transferring media learning experiences. Think of a media as simple as the free-phone consumer feedback loop for a brand's users. This offers the consumer a forum for making suggestions/complaints and receiving advice. The company which has a system for transferring learning experiences across its brands and across different countries can use this media very powerfully. The company which leaves every brand manager to reinvent use of the free-phone is most likely to conclude that this media is ineffective whereas the reality is one of organisational ineffectiveness. Take this a stage further by thinking about the potential connections between free-phone media and interfacing media such as computer administered database clubs. This illustrates why many Charterers believe that integration will be a hallmark of brand organisations of the future with particular regard to:
- investment in overlapping media
- the ways in which people who serve the brand will need to teamwork.
·Media need to be played in different ways for enveloping consumers at different stages of brand experience, eg trial (first ever purchase) versus loyal user rapport
·Good marketing never overlooks the potential of almost-free media before being dazzled by more sexy (and costly) platforms. (This admonition is issued by a CEO of one of the world's foremost branded companies. This is good enough reason for us to illustrate it with a detailed example before we turn to challenges involving more sizable media investments).
|Table 3 : Master execution of the humble product leaflet.|
Inside every pack of King Oscar "Brisling" sardines, you, as consumer, will likely find a leaflet appealing for your loyalty with text like this:
The word "Brisling" is emphasised on the label of the product you have purchased. There are strong reasons for setting "Brisling" apart from other sardines.
Facts you should know ·No specific fish is called sardine. The word "sardine" finds its origin from the Mediterranean Isle of Sardinia. There small fish were caught and canned for more than a century. It is only after the small fish are put in a can, packed in oil and hermetically sealed that the fish can take the name : SARDINE. This means that there are a large number of species of fish from many countries offered as sardines.
·However, there are no small fish for packing sardines like Norwegian Brisling.
·Brisling are a member of the Herring family and are caught primarily in the cold, unpolluted ocean waters of the Norwegian Fjords.
·Brisling are caught for packing when they are two years old. this is when the species has reached its mature size and the fat content is exactly right. The Norwegian Government has appointed Federal inspectors who determine when the fish quality reaches its peak.
·Most species used for packing sardines from countries other than Norway are caught before they reach mature sizes (usually 6 to 12 months old).
·Because Brisling are caught when they are older than other sardines, they have time to accumulate fat which is low in "Bad" cholesterol and very high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is considered of value in the prevention of heart attacks.
·Once the Brisling are caught, they are kept alive in a purse net for 3 days. During this period, the Brisling digest and naturally rid themselves of stomach contents. This self-cleansing process (Thronging) ensures that there are no "sediments" present in Norwegian sardine products. No other sardine packers use this process.
·Brisling, upon arrival at the cannery, are smoked in large ovens using oak wood. The natural flavour of the smoked Brisling creates a unique taste unlike that of any other sardine product. Sardines from countries other than Norway are either chemically "smoked" or not smoked at all.
·Brisling sardines, packed in Olive Oil, matures in the can just like good wine does in the bottle. This has to do with oil penetrating the flesh of the fish and blending with the fish oil. The Brisling in oil, that has been stored in your cabinet for more than 2 years, may be called vintage.
Our many thanks to you for purchasing King Oscar Brisling Sardines. We, at King Oscar, will continue to keep up our high standards and hope for your continuous support, also, please tell a friend.
Sincerely,KING OSCAR, INC.
All media are not created equal
This is a very important paragraph (so please consider reading it twice). Media are not created equal - they do different kinds of jobs well. Consequently, if a media becomes less economic - eg as has happened with exorbitant increases in the cost of television advertising over the last 20 years - you cannot just transfer out of it to any other media. Any potential substitute media needs detailed examination to ascertain whether it is capable of doing the same job. More precisely, to be a proper substitute a new media must be capable of making the same distinctive contribution to the integrated collection of media which the brand uses as the media it is due to replace.
|Table 4 : Advertising and the power of fame|
All major advertising media are still - in the original sense - broadcast media. Like the sowers of seeds, they cast their messages very broadly indeed - and the advertiser is left hoping that enough of them fall in the right place to make the whole thing pay for itself.
But that is about to change. Within a startlingly short period of time, consumers - real people - will be able to demand and receive any medium, any part of any medium, any brochure, any advertisement that they choose - and it could be an advertisement designed for an audience of one.
I believe it to be true that Sheba is one of the successful pioneers of relationship marketing : one-to-one marketing; direct marketing. I believe it to be true that, if my cat is on Sheba's database, on his birthday my cat will get a birthday card. And should I, as the owner, tell Sheba that my cat has unfortunately expired, I will get a small book from Sheba helping me to live with cat grief. And I find it very easy to believe that this form of marketing may be extremely cost-efficient and successful - and many of the new technologies that are speeding our way will help speed the development of relationship marketing.
But what about brands? Just about the only thing brands have in common is a kind of fame. If the phrase global brand means anything, it's not that everyone in the world consumes it - or even that everyone in the world could consume it. It's just that everyone in the world has heard about it. Fame lends a curious value to things - and to people. Famous things can be shared, referred to, laughed about. Famous things are, literally, a talking point. We talk about the weather because we know about it, it affects us all, it is a shared experience.
Remember the way that Sheba does it - and then think about the way Richard Branson has done it. Not a lot of sophisticated targeting there, it seems to me - but a tremendous amount of sophistication nonetheless, because he's realised (in both senses of that word) the value to Virgin of simple fame. Some from advertising, some from sponsorship, some from stunts and public relations: but a fame so precise and yet so general that it can now add value to music and air travel and vodka and even cola.
There's private marketing communication, already important and likely to get more so. And there's public marketing communication, already important and certain to remain so.
Public communication through the advertising of a big idea maintains the relevance of brands over very long periods of time. It's big and bold and confident and public: look at BMW, look at British Airways. It creates and maintains the brand warmth we (marketers) consciously borrow every time we launch a brand extension. It delivers now... and next year... and in 10 year's time. It reaches people who will never fly British Airways and people who will never buy a BMW - but whose knowledge and views and opinions are still of immeasurable value, not least to that minority that does fly and does buy.Extracted, and partially edited from a speech by Jeremy Bullmore (November 1994 : speech at the IPA President's Breakfast, Savoy Hotel, London)
What are Direct Marketing's typical capabilities in the middle of the 1990s? Unlike, the broadcasting capabilities of advertising, the forte of Direct Marketing is narrowcasted targeting. It is often an excellent secondary media on occasions such as:
·administering some of the benefits of loyalty clubs aimed at rewarding/understanding the needs of the brand's heavy users
·cultivating opinion leaders during the seeding phase of building a new brand's cachet
·developing niche positions for sub-brands
Direct marketing by mail is unlikely to be capable of being a lead media for most major brands for two reasons which can be fraught with practical misunderstandings:
·First - if a brand, as leading business process, is to have one essential hallmark above all then we would suggest that this is connecting things up rather than targeting. Imagine the consumer viewpoint of a brand which is led by direct marketing :
·I, the consumer, have no idea what brand image my peers will confer on me for using this brand because the "privacy" of direct marketing media means that I do not know what, if any, messages have influenced other people's awareness of the brand.
·And if the brand is a service: I, the consumer, cannot gently nudge the brand's staff towards living up to the culture which eg the brand's advertising has publicly promoted as being it's own essential values
·Moreover, I, the consumer, am not receiving eg advertising's public vote of confidence for my smart choice of brand. ( We late 20th century consumers all subconsciously underestimate how deeply gratifying it can be to see on network television an advertisement for a brand which we have just used in the last few days)
·And so on
·Second - there is a world of difference between a brand which goes public with a smart relationship "democratically guaranteed" to everyone - eg all audiences of the brand : consumers, channels, staff, critics, nations - and one whose relationships are based on billions of individual transactions communicated in private.
·Generally, a direct-marketed brand's private "guarantee" is always going to be worth less to me as a consumer than a company which publicly put its reputation on the line.
·Personally, I, as a 1990s consumer, already feel transactioned to death by direct marketing offers through my letter box. I get up to twenty of them to every one piece of real mail. Am I alone in finding these to be so much more laborious for the individual to compare - let alone dispose of - than mass marketed offers? And knowing what short-term selling pressures can do to managers of mass-communicated brands, I wonder how many more selling pressures will in the future be fed down to me, the consumer, by direct-market branders as computing power makes their offers technically clever with the targeting of special offers.
Today brand marketing seems to be driving across one organisational crossroad after another with yellow lights flashing, and where no tried and trusted route map exists. In the old days of local (not "glocal") competition and sequential (not parallel) change factors, there were safe branding directions to follow and profit from. Even if this was how most 20th century brands worked, those who do not recognise that we are now reaching a fundamental discontinuity in best practices of marketing are at risk of deluding themselves and the organisations they serve.
The risk that companies must now urgently guard against is that of brand marketing becoming the most appallingly disintegrated of business processes. Electing to make direct marketing your brand's main media could be a bridge too far from broadcasting your brand's essential messages to its consumers, or a leap too fast in the evolutionary form of the mid 1990s brand organisation. But as every year changes, marketers must rehearse their own positions on what branding jobs direct marketing can and cannot do because the advice of top level management consultants is that the variety of these media is only just beginning to blossom technologically -just think what multimedia highways may do - and the economies of using these technologies are set to improve dramatically.
Unfortunately, the point that different media do different things well, is often obscured by an industry obsession for converting the reach of one media to another through such simplified measures as gross rating points which attempt to convey how large your audience may have been. It sometimes seems that while the majority who add value in a marketing company know that media buying can never be a precise science, financial or other nerves at the centre of control demand a numerical bottom-line anyway. There is an increasing danger of establishing measures which get out of touch with meaningful human thought processes. Numerical blindness can create ignorance even at such simple levels of media comparability as :
·How attentive were your audience?
·How long did they have to think on your message before another media or programme zaps their minds?
If you as a marketer award yourself the same rating points for putting a piece of junk mail through the door which an adult opens and immediately bins, as beaming a commercial which excites all family members in one communal showing, then your brand's economics is likely to lose its way, and what starts as a careless symptom of this sort can very quickly become a terminal form of illness however famous the brand.
Executional differences also give a lot to play for. Even within an ostensibly simple media as that of sampling through the door, the executional effectiveness between presenting the brand as you normally package it to some messy image-lacking sachet can be of the order of 300% or more. We have seen repeated evidence of this kind from simulated test marketing experiments.
Because aggregate and blunt measures of media performance are a widespread distraction to thoughtfully integrated communications, Brand Charterers often find it worthwhile to convene a workshop which goes back to first principles by debating the "controversy" of :
1) How are media equal or different?
2) "For what" are media equal or different?
3) Whose job is it to integrate the different media used by a brand organisation?
1) How are media equal or different?
To debate this issue, Brand Chartering workshops often begin with two questions:
·What kind of broadcasting jobs need to be done to keep a brand vital - in Ogilvy's famous words "part of the fabric of life" ?
·Which media (marketing mix components) take lead and supporting roles in getting these jobs done?
Assuming that we are considering brands that are intended to have at least a medium-term future, you might like to edit this shortlist of essential jobs involved in broadcasting a brand franchise:
·Keep the brand in the news
·Consistently add real value (by increasing perceived competitive quality)
·Bond smart "2-way" relationships (eg market researcher Max Blackston suggests an appropriate way to probe the depth of a brand relationship with the consumer is discovered by asking not only how she perceives the brand but also what she thinks the brands thinks of her)
Let's consider "brand in the news" - part of the job description for a brand's promotional media first coined by advertising agency man James Webb Young four decades ago, an era when agency and client had more confidence in continuity and integration of creative thinking. Table 5 lists some of the interpersonal newslines that James valued in assessing the strength of an execution and a media employed by a brand. (Recollecting times when a brand seems to have had a "buzz" of its own, please add to this list other manifestations of "brand in the news" which come to mind.)
|Table 5 : Some debatable answers on how "being in the news" works for a mass market brand|
•Convey a popular image of the brand (ie one that a consumer expects everyone to see in the brand)
•Make a declaration in public, eg a guarantee which the brand will live up to
•Applaud loyal consumers (most consumers like to see their brand in the news, and -apparently- winning against competitive brands)
•Make news items that are reported by journalists
•Make a brand into a celebrity whose consumption transfers some of its celebrity status
•Capture and symbolise a mood of the times
•Establish the brand as a reference point, against which other brands are compared by critics and public
•Make brand a topic of social conversation
•Make brand famous and endorsed by opinion leaders•Motivating employees
Continue the debate with:-
Which components of the marketing mix can play a lead role in endeavours aimed at newsworthy branding?
|Table 6 - some debatable answers on which media can play a lead role in making the essence of a brand "newsworthy" |
In this table, <reference is to Benchmarking of named brands in ThinkPiece 1>·Advertising can.
<Gillette, British Airways for transnational broadcasting; Benetton or Haagen-Dazs for transnational "word-of-mouth">·Packaging and design can.
·Developing your own retail or display channel can.
<Body Shop> ·PR and world-staging can.
<McDonald's, Weight Watchers>·"Brand Seeding" can.
<Haagen-Dazs> ·Price-cutting cannot.
·Promotional competitions cannot (unless they are intimately linked to the brand's essence)
·Direct marketing through mail shots cannot?
And so on.
Next : if you wish to explore the "how" dynamics of brand communications further : construct a matrix analysis by:
·putting other short-listed branding jobs to be done across the page
·putting types of media mix down the page
·ticking off which types of media playing leading roles for which jobs
For example, before Haagen-Dazs mass markets in any new country, it dedicates its branding communications to establishing a super-premium fashion platform. The columns in the table below show the kinds of jobs to be done if a Haute Couture -"seeding" platform is to be secured. Many of these have been crafted into the introduction of Haagen-Dazs to new countries with considerable flair. By working back from a choice of key jobs to be done, a masterbriefing plan for seeding a brand amongst opinion a minimum critical mass of opinion leaders takes shape.
|How to create a fashion out of my product|
|How to become newsworthy·High visibility|
|How to be seen as desirable·Opinion leaders|
·Success to success
·Hard to get?·Sexy?
|How to get other people to create the identity for you·Legends|
·Unique point of sales
·Jetsetters' word of mouth
·Great photographic images
|How to get people to try it·Sampling|
·Line targeting urgent/impulsive need
|How to move from country of strength·Borrow national identity|
·"Seed" local desire for world's favourite
·Offer exclusive premieres to partners·Create jetsetting media/stages
|How to spread the gospel of the world's number 1·Be the ambassador of the product category|
·Offer sneak previews to VIP audiences
·Lead on quality/service commitments - globally & locally·Heroise products' unique positive qualities
In chapter 3, we saw that the combination of media used in the seeding of a new brand is very different from that for a classic brand launch relying on a heavy burst of television advertising. Interestingly, most successful "seeders" confirm that if mass advertising is employed too early - before the cachet has been cultivated amongst a minimum critical mass of opinion leaders - the brand's opportunity to win a haute couture image is likely to be lost for ever.
By now, we hope you have a picture of why the "how are media equal or different" debate is both thought-provoking and valuable.
2) "For what" are media equal or different?
All good marketing decisions are context specific. Checkout typical "for what" questions which you can then fine-tune and extend to your own business environments:
a) For what product categories?
The simplest point is sometimes the easiest to overlook. It is very unlikely that the most successful media combination for a brilliant clothing catalogue will also be the best integrated media model for a fast moving consumer good (fmcg) at low unit price such as a Mars bar. (For an example of what can happen when an fmcg company is instantly converted from an advertising-led to a direct-marketing led model, see the case study on Heinz UK in Chapter 11.)
b) For what countries?
If your brand is to compete in international markets, then another "obvious" point is that there are very different media economies and impacts across countries. A masterbriefing should have a primary model of how integrated media work for the brand but this must also be thoughtfully edited by country. For example what different point of sales support will your brand organisation need:
·in a country like the UK where grocery channels are dominated by a handful of supermarket retail chains who have their own selective agendas about which outsider brands to stock in addition to their own labels
·in much of South East Asia where retailers are often happy to stock precisely one facing of every available branded line
If necessary, various primary models of working an international brand will need to be kept up and running with an aim to converge them as countries marketing environments converge. Of course the most powerful brands tend to be those who dare to seize the initiative with a primary model which innovates a new broadcasting form. As of 1995, Gillette's integrated communications still provides an outstanding example of satellite television led promotion. The format of these advertisements is unlikely to win prizes for creative brilliance and it is conceivable that cosmopolitan consumer boredom would set in if too many other companies clone Gillette's satellite modus operandi. But we should note that Gillette is currently exploiting the benefits of having innovated a cost-effective communications package and moreover that much of satellite television staple programming eg sports, pop cultures - and corresponding audiences - suit the products represented by the domain of the Gillette brand. (see xxx brand benchmarking Gillette)
c) For what goals? And how do these vary by levels and leagues of branding?
Management goals and communications practices must vary by levels and leagues of branding which are classified in detail in Chapter 11. The communications mix for a short-term faddish product is likely to be very different from a banner or corporate brand which strategically connects up a substantial number of products and a significant proportion of corporate goodwill.
d) For what operating dimensions of an integrated branding model?
When a business team adopts an integrated view of the brand process as being all those vital relationships which develop through organisation of a complete business system and service mission, it is appropriate to try to clarify operating dimensions of the communications process. We believe that business teams should brainstorm their own customised terms of reference. As an example, one classification suggested by McKinsey's includes four principal elements:
·The breadth of communications from approaches that are mainly mass media to those that are propagated by one to one means such as direct mail
·The loyalty of the required relationship which could range form monogamous to polygamous.
·The basis for trust, varying from simple faith in a tried or true product to clear logic as to why the selling proposition works.
·The complexity of the value chain in which a product or service could be fully integrated, or, alternatively, completely unbundled.
e) For what competence building skills?
It is also valid to argue that some of your brands must be used as testbeds for your company's people to be sure of being suitably far advanced down specific learning curves associated with major new media. As with any competence building investment, we advise that business teams exercise caution as to whether a competence which may faddishly be labelled as a direct lane on a future highway is what it claims, or merely a diversion. For example, it is not evident to us that the skills of excellence involved in postal direct mailing will have much in common with skills of excellence in those not so far off days when most households no longer own a television but a computerised interface to a multimedia highways none of whose facets resembles the passive (ie non-audience interactive) programming of old. Moreover, the technology and information for multimedia leadership is far more likely to be resourced by partnerships of companies than by every company inventing its own database of consumer addresses.
3) Whose job is it to integrate the different media used by a brand organisation?
The organisational challenges of (re)creating environments in which integrated brand marketing flourishes should not be underestimated. Political inertias will surround brands as sources of power within the organisation unless corporate leaders insist on a different kind of managerial dynamic.
|Table 7 : In the place of 8 branding fiefdoms, First Choice is born|
In the summer of 1994, there was notable applause in The UK's business press for Francis Baron of travel business First Choice (né Owners Abroad). His stewardship was regarded as remarkable because of dramatic gains made in the direction of integrated branding. His company's had come to the brink of a marketing crisis - eight brands were too many for an industry leader - it meant that his company's advertising pot was split into half-million pound dollops whereas the leading competitors were Thomson's(£7.5m) and Airtours'(£4.1m). In a frenetic 12 week integration program : Francis appointed different agencies - eg advertising, corporate identity, and consumer PR - and got them working together. Says one of the agency heads: "Francis exhibited unusual skill giving each agency clear responsibilities and strict deadlines - there wasn't time for the political manoeuvring that you sometimes get in these circumstances". Says Francis: "I had made it clear at all agency pitches that their managing director had to be account director...Part of their job was to go back to their agencies and rally the ranks if some of their ideas weren't chosen".
Key organisational questions to ask when evaluating whether a brand's communications are fully integrated include:
·Is there a masterbrief from which all creative agencies are currently working?
·Does the brand team have a share in Brand Chartering, or something similar, so that medium-term goals of the brand as business process are agreed and verifiable by all? ·What safeguards are built-in so that tensions between a brand's short-term performance and medium-term development are properly balanced?
·Who is accountable for the whole brand process? Does (s)he have the continuous power to deal at least as an equal with the politics governing the company's processes and manifest in its functional hierarchy? If the company is international, does the company's global/local marketing theory work in practice?
·How do media and service commitments interact in a brand organisation?
For some special insights regarding the latter question, we have collated some of the experiences which Sim Kay Wee of Singapore Airlines has illuminated during interviews for the BBC for Business video.
|Table 8 : Some Components of Brand Service Organisation of Singapore Airlines|
The Singapore Girl has been the theme of the company's advertising for more than 20 years. She's "our icon". She portrays the kind of image we want, and the quality of service that we give. And we are very proud of her.
The most important thing about training is that you don't just focus on technical training, but the softer aspects too. For example you can train a stewardess to pour a cup of coffee for a passenger. The technical aspects of that are to make sure it doesn't spill, the cup is in the right position and all that. But we add to that soft training which is about attitude - a warmth, a friendliness, the anticipation behind pouring that cup of coffee.,, In addition, you've got to recognise your staff. Every year our managing director gives out awards for staff who go out of their way to serve passengers and make sure that passengers are delighted.
It's no good just being good at training your staff or just giving good in flight service, all these things must happen simultaneously. It is doing things in a coordinated whole, so the value to a customer is compounded and he gets an entire package.
We participate in a lot of frequent flyer programmes like with British Airways and Swiss Air etc, but that is really buying loyalty. You buy the loyalty by giving travel mileages for passengers. We also think it's important to have the loyalty of the passenger so that he appreciates what you do for him. That's why we have our PPS - Priority Passenger Service - scheme. We collect data on these passengers, so for example, we know not that he is a whisky drinker, but which is his brand and we make sure he gets it in his hand before he even asks for it. The ideal point is reached when the passenger's hobbies or needs are satisfied. For example if you have a passenger that likes gardening he will get his favourite gardening magazine that he normally reads so that he will not miss out on an issue while he travels. And I think the ultimate will be reached when on his next visit to Singapore you get the Director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens which is world famous to bring him around personally to the Orchid enclosure for example, so I think this is what we are talking about when we say exclusive service.
The next few years will present fundamental discontinuities in the opportunities and risks of media economies the like of which brands have not experienced since the beginning of our televisual era of broadcasting. For example, in multimedia for channels and media will soon begin to overlap in ways that we today can only begin to imagine.
Winning brand organisations will:
·flexibly develop combinatorially suitable patterns of media for specific brand processes
·ensure that they have developed a masterbriefing capability which is up-to-date and tailored to the essence and level of a specific brand's role within the organisation
Masterbriefing frameworks should also be used to facilitate brand learning across an organisation's market-facing business teams - both globally and locally.
The communications and service integrity of brand leadership should be one and the same process.
Integrated marketing of customer relationships is the future name of the branding game, but do not promote a media's creative supplier to your brand's lead role just because this slogan is banded around. Require that the supplier justifies how the quality of their communications/creativity will support integrated brand organisation both in its internal and external manifestations.
As a first approach towards these ends, we have suggested a framework for exploring "how" and "for what" jobs specific medias may be deemed equal or different.
For an agenda of a Masterbriefing workshop, please refer to ThinkPiece 2.