Thursday, March 16, 2006

Branding Challenges for Enterprises

I came across several well written and articulate pieces on branding over the past few days, thought they are "must read"s for anyone even slightly interested in marketing…

The ABC’s of Great Brands
This talks about three defining characteristics of a brand (Attributes, Behavior, Circumstances), and how a little clever manipulation of them can result in amazing results. The article illustrates this with examples, so its not just theory and seems to have actually worked for a couple of companies. An excerpt:

What constitutes a great brand? By applying the concept of an Appreciable Brand Triad TM , we were able to define what attributes, behavior, and circumstances are, and if executed correctly, how they enable the foundation for brand greatness. We postulated this theory by citing two brands that have achieved both financial and brand success (SW and Home Depot). Although the dynamics of the plotted points on the Appreciable Brand Triad TM are in constant motion, their general locale suggests three things: an intelligently designed business model, proper positioning of ABC’s, and flawless execution. Taken together, the opportunity to formulate or re-design a Great Brand resides in the hands of business leaders each day.

What Branding Challenges Keep You Up At Night?

From CMO Magazine, this is a summary of challenges faced by Branding Executives from Fortune 500 companies, which they placed into six categories:

Creating relevance
The pendulum has swung from consumers valuing premium products to products that are simply "good enough."

Protecting the brand
Misbehaving senior managers. Poor product quality. Many marketers worry that the corporate reputation—and thus, the brand—will become tainted.

Reaching target consumers
Highly fragmented media and products such as TiVo are causing marketers to rethink old techniques.

Nurturing employees
Companies are only as good as their frontline people. Taking care of employees is paramount to creating a leading brand.

Competing and partnering at the same time
Partnering with mass merchandisers that have their own private-label brands while competing against those same merchandisers' brands can create a challenging business environment.

Implementation of programs
Marketers have little room for errors and virtually no opportunity to make a second impression. Everything must work well out of the gate.

Three Lessons for More Effective ROI
One of the acronyms I've had a love/hate relationship with over the years, Returns On Investment is something that every branding and marketing executive needs to fight with and continuously measure at all times; this is an interesting article which can be summarized in plain english to:

Prepare for a journey - Its going to take longer than you think :)

Focus on strategic insight - Approach ROI as a measurement tool to understand how strategies and tactics can be improved

Measure smarter - Make the testing and measurement of long term activities more important than short term tactical activities (So true! too often people just don't keep the big picture in mind when looking at ROI of branding and marketing efforts)

Get started with an improved planning process, some new analysis or testing, a pilot project or a shift in your approach to measurements. Basically, continually bring in improvements and new tweaks

An excerpt from the article:

There’s one fundamental principle that keeps ROI at the top of the agenda: Companies must make more money than they spend. Executives need to have greater confidence that marketing can deliver on this promise. It does not mean that every marketing dollar will be measured in terms of incremental profits. Nor does it mean that long-term profits must be sacrificed for short-term profits. It just means that the additional discipline in understanding how marketing initiatives ultimately drive profitable customer behaviors is key.

On an unrelated note, I also came across this article that kind of hit where it hurts:

Ten Reasons Young People Are Afraid to Start Their Own Business

  • Don't Have the Skills
  • Don't Have the Self-Confidence
  • Don't Have the Ideas
  • Don't Have the Money
  • The Deck's Stacked Against Entrepreneurs
  • Couldn't Handle the Failure
  • Don't Know the Process
  • Don't Have the Time
  • Couldn't Handle the Stress
  • Couldn't Handle the Loneliness

Guilty of a few of the above. The author of that article has really tried well to prove those points wrong (Do read the aricle), but a couple of them just don't get solved by his answers. Here's hoping I get started soon though :)


allan said...

I'll look at the article.

Thanks for the information.

quotidian said...

Really like your blog - I'll be a regular! :)