Chapter 8 - brand FLOW/TEAM NETWORKING
If a company wants to learn the most from the branding process, employees need to embrace teamworking.
|A revolution in brand organisation
Integration is the opposite of functionalism that has all too often stood in the way of serving consumers superbly. It was effective when high growth, unsophisticated consumer demands, and weak distribution channels meant that each function could make real progress by itself toward improved customer satisfaction and greater profitability. On its own, manufacturing could cut costs and boost quality; marketing could develop better ads; and sales could improve call patterns and enhance customer presentations. In most industries, however, the opportunities to make progress against such narrowly defined criteria have about run their course.
Michael George et al "Reinventing the marketing organization", McKinsey Quarterly, December 1994
Beyond teamworking, it is also appropriate to foresee ways in which team networking can be facilitated so that employees from different offices or companies can work as partners in developing added value chains of business at global and local levels. How for example will partners of General Magic - including the likes of Apple, AT&T, Motorola, Philips and several Japanese companies - need to organise their network of employee relationships if inter-corporate vision and team leadership are to work to accelerate the delivery of customer delights? (For General Magic, added value focusing is about the future sphere of business involving new programming and hardware for personalised multimedia)
In order to be capable of learning and relearning everything about brand organisation, companies must realise from the outset that there is nothing wrong with accessing different learning frameworks. This applies for an overall process perspective of the business and for different conceptualisations of a specific process such as brand organisation. You get both "buy-in" and more expertise by synthesising different expert perspectives, provided the synthesis actually takes place and leaves all involved with harmonious feelings and clarified actions. This is how communications processes become more than the sum of their parts. This is how experts functions are organised to contribute to competent added value processes - those where leadership worth is represented as continuously being more than the sum of individual components. (Many of which will only be sustainable - in spite of any technological appearances to the contrary - if the architectural dynamics of employees' human motivations are purposeful and harmonious)
In this chapter on brand flow and team networking, the structure we have adopted is as follows:
·Issues to Respect and Foresee
·Initial guidelines on how to evolve a company's masterframework for learning brand organisation
·Structural Keys Embedded in Brand Chartering and similar tools for company learning
·Masterclass learning of brand organisation for winning at "glocal" marketing
Issues to Respect and Foresee
It is impossible to underestimate the depth and breadth of change management that can be needed to changeover from a classic departmentalised structure of brand management to the new teamworking process form of brand organisation. This statement is collaborated by companies in the midst of directing this change in Chapters 11-15.
At this stage we will briefly sketch the sorts of issues involved. Once people foresee the nature of the challenges which confront today's company:
·urgent practice of change is facilitated by envisaging the specific advantages which brand new organisations need to create and leverage
·exploring what characteristics of learning tool for brand organisation are most important for your specifically evolving circumstances is a critical factor for success of the mission. We aim to clarify the extent to which purposeful and focused teamworking dynamics of internal brand marketing can be translated into the heart and the soul of the brand organisation
In 1995 it was quite normal to read of this marketing state of affairs.
|At the last industry conference, of the senior marketers attending and responsible for the brands, only one in ten believed that their dedicated distributors could feed back their desired set of brand values. And less than two in ten claimed that an internal staff audience (comprising eg product planners, designers and engineers involved in formulating new products) would be able to feed back their desired set of brand values spontaneously.
Tim Greenhill quoted from his article on the future of the brand, ADMAP March 1995
The particular industry referred to was automotives, but it could of been almost any we know. Try this acid test now. Pick up the first book you can find on new product development process. How clearly does it convey to you that every new product development process should be tailored to reflect the essence of the brand it is due to fit? What sort of future shock are 1990s manufacturing companies in for who:
·on the one hand claim that brands as their channels to consumers are their biggest investments?
·on the other hand have no internally acknowledged brand-specific new product development process? ( A brand-specific npd process can be much more than the product category specific npd process which most companies organise)
In our experience, a similar lack of focus in "internal brand marketing knowhow" often abounds through a wide variety of departments - from raw materials sourcing to specific adaptations of market research - which might be expected to add special values to particular brands.
Historically, the situation has not been a lot better in service industries. We remind you of quotations from BBC interviewees which appeared in our introductory Forethoughts (Table 3 - "Leading the organisation beyond brand management"). Example - the following insight from an American Express marketer:
|The main theme of our recent reorganisation was focus. We've set up key dimensions in our marketing team, eg one is customer loyalty, another is new customer marketing. We want our marketing process to operate along the line of key customer processes rather than specific functions. The customer used to start at point A and move through several departments. In other words, the customer moves through horizontally whereas we were organised vertically. We have had to relearn marketing. We are not yet there a hundred per cent, but it's been a real revolution for us thinking about how you walk through with the customer in every process.
Extract from American Express interviewee BBC for Business video "Branding - The Marketing Advantage"
We remind you also that 1994 was the year when Unilever, quoting its Chairmen in italics, had our biggest marketing setback. This process weakness - dubbed "A Soap Opera from Unilever" by The Economist - was explained as being due to interdepartmental misunderstandings such as that of a slip somewhere between R&D and marketing.
As the added value chains of many businesses go worldwide, we should foresee that competitors in some of the largest twentieth century industries will embark on World War 3. This time the infantry - and casualties - will be brands instead of nations. But it will also be people whose jobs depend on organisations earning the right to brand. In this mother of all branded wars, competitors will exploit any suggestion of a rival's product defect even where these are perceptual in terms of:
- the all-but trifling fault of Persil/Omo Power mark 2 (which the UK Consumer Association felt was still abnormal in its fabric rotting potential though significantly less of a rotter than launch mark 1)
- the product whose imperfection will only be experienced one in several billion times like the Intel chip which had to be withdrawn after an expert lobby on the Internet revealed this issue
- the perfect new product but one which does not match the brands' loyal users emotional expectations in the light of their brand's history
You may make a list of other things that you want to foresee in brand new organisation. For example, world winning new products will often involve longer R&D processes than companies have previously had experience of managing. Who is going to ensure the branded continuity? Remember that in a classical brand management company, a ten year R&D process could be in marketing contact with five eras of brand manager as they rotate two-year tours of duty in the management of the company's hundreds of different brands and separately targeted market segments.
In our view, the belief system "integrated brand marketing begins internally" has got to be made a priority in effecting the changeover to new forms of brand organisation. Strongly led companies will describe old marketing's follies pointing out analogies from other companies' disasters. They will make it clear to their employees that this is no person's fault, but that of an old organisation form "which no longer suits the company we need to be". The quotation is a phrase Procter & Gamble's CEO of the mid 1980s used when the company first started to embrace the business team belief system. Surprisingly few competitors took notice of this at the time.
Here are some suggestions you might consider when first embarking on brand new organisation.
|·Prepare ahead. Scout externally for various practical perspectives on matters such as:
- Opening tactics : eg whom to use as opinion leaders in evolving the new brand organisation?
- What cultural or other corporate beliefs will need to be turned upside down in recognition of the revolutionary process involved? Was the full extent of these needs-for-change foreseen or does this just have to be learnt by doing?
("Scouting" may involve benchmarking some companies who are ahead in brand organisation transformation. We suggest doing this with non-competitors and ideally those with whom you can reciprocate through some other valuable process/knowhow coaching)
·How will performance measures and incentives need to be changed to have a proactive influence on learning to be world class as a brand organisation?
·Think through "ultimate responsibility" scenarios. Eg on a corporate marketing setback scenario - when action must be fast and totally aligned to preserve goodwill's "kingpiece" corporate reputation - who do you want to lead what? How will process training be used to ensure that no gap exists between theory and practice of responsibilities at team and individual levels?
·Consider transitionary roles in the forms of managers of specific marketing/customer processes. These can help marketing people to re-learn first - this is vital if they are subsequently to act as expert coaches in networking internal marketing learning across the brand organisation.
·Architects at the top of the company must separate out changeover practices which may be threatening to people's jobs to those which are growth opportunities. If cutting jobs is inevitable, this not only needs to be handled with all the care and attention that the company has used in parallel circumstances, but it should be separated in time and process from:
·fostering teamworking beliefs
·introducing a learning tool for brand organisation
The successful introduction of these two processes requires building the maximum of motivation and openness among employees. Beyond anything your company has ever seen before.
Marketing people should be given the first chance to join the brand process revolution. The ironical after-effect of a generation of short-termism in corporate management, which probably peaked with "Barbarians at the Gate" of companies like RJ Reynolds, is that many marketers may need to be given the empowerment opportunity of re-learning what the craft of marketing foresight is about. Before marketing processes can be coached across an organisation-wide network, we need to coach the coaches. Writing in the mid 1990s we would suggest that you do not look up to anyone as a brand process guru who is not prepared to admit that he or she is re-learning too.
|"There is a systemic failure in marketing culture and companies' organisations says market research consultant David Cowan. Too often, he claims, marketers' pseudo-explanations which satisfy our curiosity but actually explain very little if anything at all - crowd out real analysis.
Marketers tend to see problems in terms of strengths and weaknesses of individuals. They tend not to give enough weight to the corporate structures and processes that create and mould peoples' behaviours and attitudes. Sentiments like "if only our agency was more creative", "if only our researchers had better insight", "if only the client thought more strategically" are mere platitudes masquerading as explanations: by definition, they are always true.
The real challenge is to understand the underlying conditions that stifle or encourage the human qualities we want. Why, for instance, do companies consistently fail to see the threats and opportunities that are thrown up by emerging technologies and new products?"
Alan Mitchell, Marketing Week, 21 April 1995
Initial guidelines on how to evolve a company's masterframework for learning brand organisation
If company learning is to begin to take place in process mode, different departments and expert functions should be encouraged to bring their different frames of reference to the teamworking table. Departments do need to explain these opening frames before these can be edited to differentiate what's truly functional expertise and what needs to be interconnected process-style competence.
Whether or not other departments need to be transformed out of separate existence and into networking form, we believe that marketing should be encouraged to lead by example. It should transform itself out of being a department and across the organisational network in the confidence that it will need to act as a vital school of added value thinking.
The higher level motivation for marketing disciples should be that the company needs an intangible-led communications process to leverage it's most valuable dynamic assets in the form of brands interconnected to core competences interconnected to any other learning resources of the organisation associated with leadership ( eg customer service culture, deadlines prioritised by foresight schools of the future etc). The strong marketers of today and tomorrow - ie those who recognise that the chance to recreate an internal marketing culture aligned to medium-term leadership foresight - will jump at this promotional opportunity.
If consensus between the company's CEO, senior marketers and interdepartmental opinion leaders suggests that you already have a strong "master-learning" tool for brand organisation, we suggest you give it a light editing by comparing it with this Brand Chartering handbook and incorporating any newly valuable ideas that occur through making this deliberation.
If your consensus is that the company needs to develop a master-learning tool for brand organisation, we suggest that one or more teams should be set up to compare the Brand Chartering framework in this handbook with another learning framework chosen from brand marketing, customer service, strategy, learning organisation or other perspective on focused accumulation of intangible advantages. If, for example, a strategy-oriented comparison was to be made, we would recommend "Competing for the Future from Hamel and Prahalad". If, for example, a comparison was to be made with up-to-date "brand change" agendas requested by practitioners and researched by academics then we would recommend the latest available knowhow forum originating from the BBC video "Branding - The Marketing Advantage". (The video is continuously being supplemented by follow-up notes amongst Internet group discussions and other knowledge exchange materials whose learning paths stem from the source stimulation of the BBC.)
| Typical practitioner-directed scoping of top 8 "brand change" Agendas
-> UK Business Schools 1995
|·Brand partnership strategy : new rules for externalising and internalising; ·exploiting reputation, top level values etc of banner brands; culling or refocusing brand equity in an "overbranded" company
|·Use of Chartering or equivalent scripts for teamworking; integration of strategy frames for leveraging brand and other intangibles (eg competences); CEO lead-responsibility for brand organisation
|·How to prioritise marketing advantages invested in brand system; how to align measurement and performance time frames; how to rehearse scenarios of discontinuity threats to brand equity
|·Balancing HQ and local roles and information leads; how beat locally targeted brands; how model of external and internal priorities differs from local era branding
|WORLD CLASS culture
|·World number 1 culture - how to sustain and how not to lose; stakeholder priorities as global citizen; specific clarification of right to lead (eg visionary capabilities); manoeuvring corporate environment - eg abolishing over-accounting
|"GLOCAL" added value WARFARE
|·Market-partnership networks configured to glocally overthrow classic added value chains; principles of "holonic" organisations (beyond process reengineering)
|SEEDED marketing CHANNELS
|·New brand targeting of opinion leaders before mass marketing consumers; global and local transfer tactics of haute couture goodwill;co-developing new channels
|SERVICE SMART integration
|·Consumer relationships smarts : eg lifetime focus, two-way feedback loops; employees delight (through super-motivation mechanisms)
| Source: adapted from BBC for Business Video Professorial Exchange, MEG 95
- Management Centre, University of Bradford
The agendas tabulated above are made in "junction-style" to help clarify both the focus and the interconnections between these critical brand change agendas. In this way academic researchers can synergetically co-partner each other through electronic media such at the Internet. And practitioners can gain from a dynamic curriculum which intentionally stresses:
·breadth ie interconnections across brand change agendas
·depth ie full exploration of the agenda within its terms of reference.
We reiterate advice from the Forethoughts chapter that the generic form of Brand Chartering presented in this book also requires a degree of general editing to maximise its relevance as a master-learning tool for in-situ use of your brand organisation. By in-situ use, we have in mind factors such as:
·how departmentalised your current organisational structure is
·who leverages added value the most, and from what expert perspective or leadership competence
·brand architecture specific issues (see chapter 11)
Additionally, it is worthwhile asking the simple but sometimes revealing question : what "user-friendly" factors make learning frameworks look different either in form or substance? Examples are:
·Devised for an educational purpose with a particular user format ( eg book, word-of-mouth, computerised "windows" involve users in different kinds of educational flows)
·Devised for practitioners and the common reference set of knowhow which they already communicate from
·Starts from a particular lead perspective driven by eg strategist, service-focused expert
·Degree of designed-in flexibility - where a learning system needs to be highly flexible for brand organisation itself to evolve through an era of rapid change, to a more rigid system where certain conventional-structured rules are built-in because these are assumed to be constant (best practice) beliefs
·Vocabulary - is this in itself slanted? Eg targeting, segmenting, Unique Selling Propositions as self-proclaimed "strengths" tend to restrict debate and are anchored to a particular era of marketing assumptions. Mass marketing of the twentieth century has already passed through two great eras of brand organisational being : broadly 1) pre-tv and local, 2) tv and multinational. These are not the future of the brand organisation in the multimedia and glocal world which is now forming in competitors near you. If a tool is to encourage learning and teamworking, vocabulary and internal "learning" media must be recognised as more than an incidental part of people's thinking processes.
In the process of comparing a pair of learning tools for their brand organisational capabilities, you might also want to consider issues like:
·Does structure enable sufficient breadth and depth to edit everything into the team's living script of the brand?
·How do component terms of the structure appear to influence people's thinking. Eg the way terms are clustered often causes people to envisage particular interconnections of the brand process more easily than others which may be even more critically inter-related
·What terms are ultimately common to both learning systems? Which of the unique ones do you need to add? How do you tidy up conceptual vocabulary to be accessible to all teamworkers? What examples/training are needed to induce what level of comprehension of how to use the system? How do you balance ease of use needs of teamworkers with prioritised in-depth qualities which the brand's living script needs? What output qualities of the process matter to you : focus, consensus, comprehensiveness, creativeness, urgency of motivation to action?
Structural keys embedded in Brand Chartering and similar tools for company learning
Key 1) We believe that the form of a learning tool can benefit from incorporating a "window and junction" structure
Increasingly teamworking learning systems will be computerised. This suggests that a window-menu structure is vital to allow correspondents to explore the breadth and depth of the brand. Computerised media should allow them to zoom in and out of the windows. By emphasising that the windows should also be thought of as the primary process junctions of brand organisation, people can quickly assimilate the idea that any one junction of thinking could and should lead to the interactive implications of another.
Key 2) We believe that each window - apart from those in Key 3 - should stand out for one big topic of enquiry as well as a detailed procedure for holding the specific enquiry. In this way it is possible to use the learning tool both for breadth and depth of debates.
For example of breadth of debates, overview learning can be gained by debating where branding mistakes originated (eg the blackspotting technique discussed in the Forethoughts). Conversely, brand process success stories can be analysed and debated at an overview level. Learning can be facilitated by asking individuals to do these sorts of exercises separately before swapping notes. Organisational learning across brands and over time can be gained by spotting patterns of mistakes that recur (and then finding out why) or looking to transfer one brand's junction success to other analogous brands.
For depth of debates, workshops for convening a debate on the topic can be scripted. In Chartering's case, illustrations of these are provided in ThinkPiece 2. The author, co-workers and others also find the junction format convenient for indexing purposes - eg what business schools are pioneering which research agendas related to Chartering's junctions.
Key 3) One or more "Others" windows are necessary. This enables people to interconnect your "master-learning" tool with frames of reference in other peoples' minds whether these are specific to brand organisation or in their view inter-related from some other expert perspective. Additionally, with any particular brand process, there are always likely to be a small number of special issues that no general purpose scripting tool can cover. In any learning tool, it's important to leave the "what else?" mechanism of inquiry open.
Key 4) By requiring that people converge on a one-page output for a brand's script at any point of time, you know the common reference point from which all teamworkers start from in interpreting the brand. This can also be used as a mechanism for getting the involvement of all departments because they know that they must participate both in bidding up and buying into the signed off priorities that are communally expressed as the brand organisation's current living script.
Key 5) By following a semi-structured layout to all of it's Charters, a company can make it easy for employees to learn about as many brands as they need, as well as actions expected from them in support of the brand. For example, an impactful layout appropriate for conveying the dynamic qualities of strong brand leadership is as follows:
·the top of the page itemises the brand's essential components in a relatively constant way. These also include the brand's linkages and priorities within the company's total brand architecture
·the bottom of the page lists the brand's "do now" deadlines for accelerating future added value
·the middle can be used to list outstanding questionmarks : eg feedback projects currently under way to illuminate deeper understanding of the brand or to review the impact of a current competitor's initiative. It can also be used to record change trends etc that are fundamental to the brand but where deliberative as opposed to immediate action is required.
Key 6) we believe a similar set of keys are appropriate for Chartering any of the company's other core investments in intangible sources of advantage - eg core competences (discussed in Chapter 12 and Thinkpiece XXX). Moreover, we believe that every "core intangible" is also an "information highroad" for company learning. CEOs and other people at the top of a company need to take the lead in showing business teams how to work these new "information highroads" in the context of company learning, over and above the traditional ways in which particular intangibles have been viewed functionally by departments of the company. We will amplify the meaning of this sixth key in the next section.
·Masterclass learning of brand organisation for winning at "glocal" marketing
There is an easy part and a difficult part to relearning brand organisation, and this has to start with the CEO and top people in the company before it can cascade down to business teams.
In our work with major multinationals, we cannot remember having met any senior executive who has not subscribed to a strong marketing belief system. For an example of such a system of thinking, Table 1 reproduces extracts from one developed by Cranfield School of Management's Centre for Advanced Research in Marketing.
|Developing a strong market orientation
1 Start at the top. Strong leadership and commitment to customer focus at the top of an organisation is indispensable.
2 Involve everyone in the organisation in the marketing philosophy. The message has to cascade down so that everyone knows that serving the customer is ultimate raison d'etre.
3 Be prepared for structural change. Lasting step changes in customer service levels cannot be achieved wherever an organisation is structured along lines that benefit the company not the customer. Proactivity is needed to foresee how changes in the external environment are leveraged by leading the way with internal processes.
4 Use new structure to feed upwards into customer-facing strategy. The information on which strategic planning is based should come from customer-facing units.
5 Review marketing tactics, particularly the alignment of the 4P's with customer strategy. Keep looking at the 4P's (Products, Price, Promotion, Place) from the customers' point of view remembering to look ahead so that customers see you as the leader even as their perceptions are influenced by global and local trends in media and added value frames of reference.
6 Accept that change is a way of life. Involve all employees in "editing the future" and learning activities, eg competitive information detection, which produce an informed consensus and purposeful focus.
7 Understand the difference between quality systems and quality products or services. Make sure that people understand that systems exist to serve the needs of the customer. Recognise that every product has a perceptual context because all acts of consumption involve human emotions.
8 Focus on the customer, not the competition. Both matter, but leadership essence comes from focus on the first
9 Look at end-to-end processes, not piecemeal processes. The customer should experience seamless service
10 Keep the end user in sight. Immediate customers matter but losing sight of the end user is a symptom which can quickly lead to terminal illness
11 Develop and empower people down the organisation; particularly those who have customer contact. Ultimately customers experience brands as services whose power to consistently delight depends on the organisation's people12 Understand the relationship between customer focus and profit. Monitor a suitable combination of measurements for a well chosen selection of time horizons and tailored to appraise the specific purpose of the marketing approach and gauge levels of successful achievement
The above agenda is quite an intricate one - especially for a student of marketing or teamworkers for whom marketing is an "away" discipline to be interconnected with their own "home" functional expertise. However, for people at the top of marketing companies, a lifetime's experience makes this kind of frame of reference very intuitive indeed. So what is their own most difficult barrier to re-learning brand organisation?
Like the rest of us, senior management's barriers to learning brand new organisation do vary, but the following over-simplified illustration nonetheless typifies the biggest change barrier for people at the top of multinational consumer goods companies.
Until quite recently the CEO of a company with traditional brand management systems was led to view key control responsibilities along these lines:
|(say) 20 core operating countries - control by liaising with 20 strong country managers
|(say) 1000 products - control by clustering into (say) 10 product streams with their managers
|(say) 100 brands - leave to junior brand managers to report in to various levels of management, depending on market size, but not to the CEO
Then an inconvenient realisation grew throughout the 1980s. Leading brands were no longer just consumer propositions but the company's primary communications channels. Moreover, it was posited that these brands had become the company's most valuable assets because they were the first reference points in consumers' minds in crowded markets being joined by a glut of equally able competitors (including many whose business was becoming more international than conventional marketing segmentations had recognised).
Imagine being a CEO in this situation. If you take all of the above seriously, you are likely to start a major re-organisation so that the customer management of your main brand equities is reassigned to more senior people. This requires a lot of effort and dotted lines coordination between managers of country, product and brand become quite complex.
While people get to grips with this, some mistakes are quite likely to happen, but in your view a stronger organisation makes all of this worth doing.
You have just asked everyone in the company's headquarters and local offices worldwide to learn this new complex matrix of responsibilities, and then somebody has the nerve to come along and say "hum - that's only a small part of the job that needs to be done to relearn brand organisation". Imagine the pain of it all.
Well, as neither author nor co-workers are CEOs of such a company, we cannot do that. As carriers of the "hum" message we can however tell you what happens next. Quite often we get shot at - but that's a way of life for a messenger - and we do try to empathise with the shock we have brought. On other occasions, we get asked for a view of what to do next. So here goes.
Everything henceforth stems from recognising that the brand process is not just about consumer proposition or your communications channels to external customers. Some
of the brands you select must be much more. These high level brands must be what everybody in the company organises around to input:
·all their added value talents,
·daily service perspiration,
·and other kinds of communal learning.
As a direct result, top level banner brands can then be leveraged as reflections of corporate core competences, your leadership visions and everything else that your corporate reputation stands for. This can include planning who you will partner as well as who you will compete against. This also involves what societies your company as a global neighbour most impacts environmentally and economically.
Seen from this viewpoint, top level brand scripts must be, at least lightly, edited by the CEO. Even if you have never projected the company as a consumer brand, your reputation is out there globally and locally, in a way that one severe organisational crisis could destroy more tangibly than a meteorite falling on your corporate HQ. That's a fundamental corporate moral of living in our era of global village media and corresponding competitive communications.
Real brand organisation learning will need the dedication and curiosity of everyone in the company. But the following preparations need to be made by the CEO or those who share with him/her an organisation-wide remit.
Pilot an internal communications system until the CEO has at least top level editorial control over the whole brand architecture. Do this by first finding a format which works for 1) your corporate reputation and 2) a few of your most important brands. Put special teams on this to script the details but in a way that the CEO can quickly read and "edit the future" for:
·opportunity and risk to corporate goodwill
·alignment of direction with that of inter-related investments such as the company's core competences
We believe that the system you will need will be similar to Brand Chartering at least to the extent that it integrates the six keys mentioned earlier and embodies the process philosophy of integratedly editing the future into a topline script.
If developing such a system sounds like involving the CEO in a lot of extra work merely to avoid excess risk, then think of it another way. Now you have your brand organisational learning tool in place, the CEO can prioritise "do now" goals for teamworkers who everywhere impact the brand. For the first time the CEO and the company share an internal media in which strategic intent and implementation coalesce; organisational evolution to leverage change and the proactive detection of external information that leaders need is integrated in one and the same process. And you will discover many other integrated strengths that come from a communal direct line of communication from top to bottom of the company focused on its most dynamically valuable asset - the brand.
Ultimately, "Brand Chartering" - as an organisation-wide learning tool - works to ensure leadership, control and communal feedback all in one up-to-date exchange of employee knowhow.
Furthermore whilst this chapter has been concerned to show how business teams can learn to brand all intangible (learning) assets as more than their parts, opportunities to integrate tangible assets into the corporate foresight are also worth seizing. For example the following advice is included as part of a case study in the video course materials for Globalisation by Kenichi Ohmae.
|World Class Operations
In this context, the approach to facility location is a response to the projection of future conditions, not current competitive issues and resource prices. It is made by a CEO focusing on marketing, product and operational issues, not by a manufacturing executive concentrating on direct labor rates. The decision is based on the capabilities that conditions in the new location could help the company to build not on the conditions themselves.
The goal of this strategic approach to facility location is to build a network of capabilities, rather than just a network of facilities. This network is specifically designed to support the company's business and market strategies on a continuing basis. It is structured as much for what it can "teach" the firm as to take advantage of external location resources. It is dynamic and maintained as an ongoing element in a company's strategic plan.World Class Operations - Building competitive advantage though a global network of capabilities, Andrew Bartmess and Keith Cerny, California Management Review
Brand Flow/Team Networking is currently one of the most exciting aspects of the practice of Brand Chartering. There are two big "Buts".
But 1: Team Networking does not happen in a sustainable way unless organisation is newly structured to facilitate it. Ditto for winning at brand organisation. It makes sense to harness both of these initiatives at one and the same time together with anything else the CEO wants to put on the architectural agenda of becoming a learning company. We have discussed the importance of preparing learning tools:
· on brand organisation
· on other knowhow (intangible) "dynamic" assets which need to accumulated and leveraged over time
These then need to be integrated into the working practice of everybody in the organisation top-down, bottom-up and side to side. Key principles for implementing this have been summarised. The CEO must take the lead in developing an "edit the future culture" and we have suggested an approach. Something like this is urgent because the main window of opportunity for brand organisations to define "glocal" added value chains will not extend far into the new millennium. We advise CEO's to adopt Nike's slogan now : "just do it".
But 2 : We still have a lot of work to do within the covers of this book on Brand Chartering. We need to dig deeper into ideas on how to bring internal communications architecture to the company ( eg Chapters 11 to 15) as well as external marketing communications prowess ( eg Chapters 1 to 7, 9). We need to refresh creativity as well as pride in leadership, and this needs to be instilled into every employee who serves a brand. We also need to train people to catalogue potential changes to conventional wisdoms of old brand management. Where is there most danger of well-intended operating guidelines becoming destructive inertias in the context of the brand learning company? A good starting place is to champion every way in which top level brands do much more "connecting up" than targeting. It should be anticipated that this will turn some executional rules of the brand's marketing brief upside down, as we will see in the next chapter.