Marketing
Power Of Branding

© Design Council Over the next five chapters, we will cover: —  Why a business needs a brand to be successful —  The key ingredients of a brand —  How to manage and communicate your brand —  Branding for different market sectors —  The relationship between design and branding What do we mean by the word ‘brand’? The words brand and branding are thrown around liberally by all sorts of people in different contexts and with different meanings in mind, so it may help to start by asking ‘what exactly is a brand?’ The simplest answer is that a brand is a set of associations that a person (or group of people) makes with a company, product, service, individual or organisation. These associations may be intentional – that is, they may be actively promoted via marketing and corporate identity, for example – or they may be outside the company’s control. For example, a poor press review for a new product might ‘harm’ the product manufacturer’s overall brand by placing negative associations in people’s minds. To illustrate the idea, let’s take what is arguably the best-known product – or brand – in the world: Coca-Cola. Although essentially just a soft drinks product, Coca-Cola the drink is eclipsed by the sheer might of Coca-Cola the brand. This phenomenon is best summed up by the following quote from a Coca-Cola executive: In a 2007 survey of the value of global brands by branding agency Interbrand, Coca-Cola’s brand equity was valued at US$65.3bn, just under half the company’s true market value. So what are these all-powerful associations? For Coca-Cola, typical perceptions might be that it is the original cola drink (‘The Real Thing’), that its recipe is secret and unsurpassed, that it’s all- American or maybe global, that it’s youthful, energetic, refreshing and so on. Visual associations might include the unmistakable red and white logo and corporate colours, or the unique shape and tint of the original glass bottles. These are mostly positive brand associations, but there may be negative ones too. For example, Coca-Cola may be seen as unhealthy, or as a symbol of global ‘imperialism’ by American brands. What is seen as a positive association to some may be unpleasant to others and negative perceptions could become attached to a brand’s identity even if the company strives to present a different character. Of course, brands aren’t limited to the food and drink category. If a brand is just a set of associations then practically anything could be said to have a brand, even individuals – think Simon Cowell or Gordon Ramsay. Ramsay\'s own brand is so strong, in fact, that in 2007 he leant his weight to a major advertising campaign by Gordon\'s Gin. He was chosen not just because of his name, but because his association with a sense of quality and exclusivity mirrors the drinks manufacturer\'s own brand values. Other high-profile examples of recognised brands include JCB, British Airways, Tate, Yahoo, The Big Issue or even London. From services to cities, products to publications, each carries a strong set of associations in the minds of a large number of people. What is branding? If a brand results from a set of associations and perceptions in people’s minds, then branding is an attempt to harness, generate, influence and control these associations to help the business perform better. Any organisation can benefit enormously by creating a brand that presents the company as distinctive, trusted, exciting, reliable or whichever attributes are appropriate to that business. While absolute control over a brand is not possible due to outside influences, intelligent use of design, advertising, marketing, service proposition, corporate culture and so on can all really help to generate associations in people’s minds that will benefit the organisation. In different industry sectors the audiences, competitors, delivery and service aspects of branding may differ, but the basic principle of being clear about what you stand for always applies. Case study From fetes to Fortnums How branding brought Mrs Massey to the masses When Nicola Massey, a nurse turned chutney-cook, started making so many jars of chutney her husband was kept up all night sticking on labels, a close friend realised there was great commercial potential to be tapped with the help of the right design agency. Adrian Collins, Managing Director of Ziggurat Brands, already knew Nicola Massey well, so he was able to start designing a brand identity for her products that reflected her personality. Nicola Massey is impressed by the results this relationship brought. ‘Sometimes you don’t need a picture of yourself for something to be instantly recognisable,\' she says. \'They had captured me completely: the pink, the humour, the use of the utensils in the design. It’s unmistakably me.’   Why does your business need a brand? Creating difference Branding is a way of clearly highlighting what makes your offer different to, and more desirable than, anyone else’s. Effective branding elevates a product or organisation from being just one commodity amongst many identical commodities, to become something with a unique character and promise. It can create an emotional resonance in the minds of consumers who choose products and services using both emotional and pragmatic judgements. Rachel’s Organic Butter, for example, chose black for its packaging design so it would stand out from the typical yellow, gold and green colours (representing sunshine and fields) used by competitor products. The result is that the brand appears more premium, distinctive and perhaps even more ‘daring’ than its competitors. Adding Value People are generally willing to pay more for a branded product than they are for something which is largely unbranded. And a brand can be extended through a whole range of offers too. Tesco, for example, began life as an economy supermarket and now sells a wide range of products, from furniture to insurance. But a consistent application of the Tesco brand attributes, such as ease of access and low price, has allowed the business to move into new market sectors without changing its core brand identity. This obviously adds value to the business, but consumers also see added value in the new services thanks to their existing associations with the Tesco brand. Of course, this can work in reverse too: if consumers don’t like the Tesco brand in one product area, they’re less likely to choose the company’s offer in another product area. Connecting with people Creating a connection with people is important for all organisations and a brand can embody attributes which consumers will feel drawn to. Apple’s original launch of the iPod, for example, catapulted the company from computer business to mass-market entertainment brand, with iPod marketing drawing heavily on people’s emotional relationship with their music. By moving into music and film, Apple has redefined what the company does and shifted its brand association to something that connects with larger numbers of people outside computing or creative community. Case study Serious business How brand identity helped Serious** distinguish itself Waste management business Envirotech found that its customers were getting confused by competitors with a similar identities and it wanted to stand out from the crowd. Managing Director, David Birkett attended a Designing Demand event about how design can help businesses and realised that branding was one way of increasing public recognition as well as improving other aspects of the business. The new brand identity overcomes customer\'s inclination to snigger at the subject of waste management and is infinitely more recognisable. It\'s also difficult to confuse with other waste management firms.

Marketing
Inside Out Branding

Increasingly business leaders recognise there is little point in investing large sums in advertising and design, if the reality of employee behaviour undermines those well honed messages of product and service superiority. This, combined with the competitive advantage that can be gained through the recruitment and retention of the best people in the market, has led to a refocusing from the external to the internal. Now businesses want to maximize the intellectual capital at their disposal through internal marketing and living the brand programmes. They want to generate new ideas and deliver value to stakeholders. They want to build stronger customer relationships. All of these are possible if employees identify with the organization and its goals. Yet this seemingly simple objective is elusive. Many employees not only fail to identify with the company, they become activists and saboteurs. So what is going wrong? Sincerity As with politicians, we get the organizations we deserve. If we accept duplicity, greed and manipulation individually, and as a society, we should not be surprised by businesses that stretch the boundaries of corporate behaviour. Equally, given that the language of marketing has long accepted hyperbole as a necessary part of its armoury, the over-claiming of some products should be expected. The consequent cynicism towards brands, fuelled by recent books, has an undoubted impact on consumers, but it also affects employees and their sense of worth. To build a genuine commitment towards an organization requires sincerity. Living the brand is not a six month programme or a campaign of internal communication. It is an integrated, ongoing and genuine commitment to the focused development of employee potential. It requires organizations to think anew about their roles and responsibilities and to focus on their culture. Consequently living the brand is not about developing a few well-chosen management tools but about creating an open, honest and participative environment. Groovy culture Companies that can lay a genuine claim to this sort of culture are rare. Indeed a study in the UK in 2001, called ´Culture Shock` found that company culture was the ´biggest impediment to improved performance. `This is at least in part because management´s long love affair with traditional command and control systems is at odds with increasingly individualistic and empowered employees. To make a control culture work in this environment you have to be Machiavellian. Organizations that have eschewed overt control systems seem to be far better placed to engage employees with their purpose. Here there tends to be less telling and more engagement; less didacticism and more dialogue. Not surprisingly many of these companies are based either in socially democratic Scandinavia or in counter-culture West Coast America. Both are places where hierarchy is relatively less important and innovation and creativity are high. (The top three countries in the world in terms of innovation are Sweden, US, Finland – source European Commission, 2001). A company that epitomizes the principles of a living the brand culture is the Californian based, outdoor clothing company, Patagonia. Established in the early sixties, Patagonia has a very distinctive culture based around environmentalism. It engages its employees with its ideas, not primarily through training and communication, but by involving people with the purpose and the values of the organization. Nowhere is this more evident than in the person of its eleven times world freestyle Frisbee champion and receptionist, Chip Bell. Chip is an engaging person. He welcomes visitors with spontaneity and enthusiasm. He answers all manner of phone queries about company policy. He keeps the office surfing report updated and he teaches occasional surf classes. He is the sort of committed employee that most HR Directors can only dream about. Given the frequency of interactions Chip has with employees, customers, suppliers and retailers, he is a primary determinant of the company\'s image. Interestingly Chip\'s persona has not been defined through a rulebook, but rather because he identifies with the deeper purpose of Patagonia. This is how Chip describes his working day: \'I ride my bike to work everyday; some of my children come to the childcare programme here. It seemed that when I arrived at work not only was I in a good mood, it was easy to work with our customers and our guests. It\'s an image that comes naturally - standing up, shaking hands, smiling. I\'m genuinely feeling groovy. It\'s seamless for me to give customer service and interact with people and to give them a feeling that it is a different place; that it is a business where you can be yourself - caring and giving top-notch customer service. It\'s easy for me.... My reactions come naturally from absorbing all of our values - environment, integrity, quality - all of that is relayed back out when I\'m on the phone. When I\'m on the phone, I want to know what the person at the other end is going to feel; what the picture is in their mind. It\'s the image they have of Patagonia that equals a strong brand.\' Patagonia has achieved something simple and powerful by defining and delivering a brand that attracts a certain type of employee who identifies with the organizational cause: to use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. This stance will not appeal to everyone, but if a person is happy with the idea of the company giving 1% of turnover to environmental charities, comfortable with the idea of being trained in non-violent civil disobedience (and having their fines paid if arrested) and willing to put environmental principle before profit (Patagonia happily repair product, generally for free, rather than encouraging people to buy a replacement purchase) then this is an organization that could fulfill their needs. Although the Patagonia purpose is idiosyncratic, it indicates the importance of courage in defining and living a brand. It is the courage to be different that enables people to discover meaning for themselves in their working lives. The question that has to be posed is whether other organizations, perhaps in more mundane business areas, can deliver such committed employees? It is undoubtedly harder to generate involvement with an area such as waste management. However, there are examples of companies that generate engagement in diverse industries. The UK travel agency, Trailfinders delivers above the norm in terms of customer service and employee involvement, by hiring people who are travel enthusiasts. Equally, parts supplier Unipart makes a powerful commitment to its employees through an in-house University, which has a central resource unit and locations on the shop floor. Most significant is the widely used exemplar, Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle, which has been the subject of two best-selling training videos (Fish! And Fish Sticks). This organization is cited because its employees work from day break in a fish market, yet seem to be highly committed to the fulfilling idea of making their customers happy. As with Patagonia, they break down the barriers between the employee and the customer and create relationships. The surprising thing is, given the success of companies such as Patagonia, Pike Place and other similar organizations, that there aren\'t more exponents of this approach. The problem seems to lie both in the definition of what the organization stands for and more so in the delivery. The resolution lies in adhering to three key principles: imagination, authenticity and participation. Imagination Brand ideas - purpose and value statements - need to stir people\'s imaginations. This is partly to do with the construct of the ideas themselves, but the key thing is that the ideas tap into employees\' higher motivations. Most people in an organization want to identify with what they do. They want to engage with their needs for esteem, socialisation and self actualisation - \'to become everything that one is capable of becoming.\' However many organizations resolutely fail to achieve this, because it requires empowerment. It is more comfortable for managers (although much of the research suggests it is less effective) to retain control and to limit the intellectual capital used only to board members. In this knowledge economy, however it makes more sense to utilise the intellectual resources of the whole company. This requires the balancing of \'freedom and order.\' If the brand idea is too constraining it will inhibit people\'s ability to imagine the future. Employees should have the opportunity to innovate; to provide excellent customer service; to adapt to circumstances; to create new ways of doing things. Authenticity As well as balancing freedom and order, brand ideas need to be authentic. Every organization has a set of ideals and assumptions. The task is to draw out what these are. It is not about constructing an idealised world far removed from organizational reality. The idea needs to reaffirm the most important aspects of the organization’s essence and to stretch it towards meeting its goals. This suggests that it is far better for employees to define the brand, than an external consultancy. Although a consultant can facilitate the process, the authenticity will only come through internal understanding. When brands are truly owned by the organization, they have the potential to move from the conscious to the intuitive. This is when people no longer have to debate what is right - they know. When this stage is reached employees feel empowered, customer service is enhanced and the organization becomes a more efficient decision maker. Participation In a way this is the most contentious issue. The argument is that you cannot tell people to believe in something. By far the best way is for people to discover for themselves the idea behind the brand. This suggests that as many people as possible should be involved. This requires a conducive environment and the mechanisms to encourage it. Creating the environment is most often the difficult part. It requires: • the wholehearted commitment of management (leading by example) • a willingness to empower people (that means diminishing the power of leaders) • a willingness to take a risk on people • an acceptance of the need to share ideas and results • the integration of the brand into all facets of the organization, especially in terms of recruitment policy, training, appraisals and rewards. The temptation is for organizations to adopt a more top down approach, but this runs the risk of being limited in its vision and requiring extensive activity to encourage people to buy into the idea later on. Also if communication departments and consultants are the sole authors there is a tendency to develop a brand idea that works for brand professionals, but is often too complex for use by other departments. Indeed lack of clarity in the brand idea is the most often cited obstacle in realizing the full potential of the brand (ORC International 2000). Ultimately there is little value in a brand idea that is rooted in the boardroom or a specific functional area. It needs to permeate and be understood by the whole organization. That necessitates the idea moving beyond communication into people´s everyday activities. This is about stimulating self discovery and behavioural change. And it is the real test of living the brand. The Implications Brands are mostly seen as the province of marketing and communication departments. Traditionally this is because the development of brands has been focused on external advertising and promotion. Yet in many businesses, image and relationships are formed by the interaction between employees and customers. This suggests that branding should concentrate on employees and connecting them with the brand idea. This is only partly a marketing/communications role. More significantly it is a human resources activity. It is about selecting the right people, developing their skills, building commitment and nurturing talent. It is about enhancing intellectual capital. As the writers, Edvinsson and Malone say, \'It (intellectual capital) alone recognises that a modern enterprise changes so fast that all it has left to depend on is the talents and dedication of its people and the quality of the tools they use.\' When branding within organizations is more specifically associated with intellectual capital, rather than just the development of logos or advertising, which tends to be the assumption of many employees, then brands will be seen as central to the development of organizational value. Some organizations are already exploring this by developing \'living the brand\' programmes, which focus on integrating communications, human resources and other functions. When this is done effectively the brand becomes valuable for both employees and customers.   © 2003 Nicholas Ind. All rights reserved. Contributor: Nicholas Ind Nicholas Ind is a writer and consultant based in Scandinavia. He is the author of seven books including The Corporate Image (1990); Terence Conran (1995); The Corporate Brand (1997), Living the Brand (2001) and Inspiration (2004). He is also the editor of Beyond Branding (2003). Email: nind@equiibriumconsulting.com Website: www.nicholasind.com

Marketing
Marketing
Think Pink: Resurrecting Rosé

For the French, rosé is a pink-colored wine synonymous with dry, light wine and sunny Southern France. For Americans, rosé is mostly known as “blush” wines popularized at the end of World War II by inexpensive, sugary sweet wines such as Mateus Rose from Portugal and later White Zinfandels from Northern California. For Asians, “pink” wine is nothing more than a blend, and therefore has virtually no positive associations for a variety of reasons. According to historians, it all started a few thousand years ago when the Phoenicians arrived in what is now Marseille (as well as other French towns) somewhere between 500 and 600 BC. With their arrival came the cultivation of grape wines used for winemaking. As the people prospered so did the vines, spreading throughout the Mediterranean thanks to the trade success of the port town of Marseille. By the 13th century, Provence had become the famed maker of rosé wines that were, by order of the Duke of Bourgogne (Duke of Burgundy to English speakers), reserved for the King of France and none other than the Pope. The “first juice of the grapes” became equated with royalty, while today’s beloved red wines were reserved for the serving classes. White wine, at the time, was nearly non-existent. But after centuries of tradition and prestige, a great branding calamity happened. By the twentieth century, rosé wines not only lost their luxury status, but had become the symbol for cheap wine fit only for casual local French consumption. The blame, some wine experts say, was in part due to Bordeaux’s international rise in fame for red wines. While rosé remained over the years a staple of local French consumptions, the virtuous pink wines found little awareness outside of France. Today, rosé wines still account for 80 percent of wines produced in Provence, of which 90 percent are marketed and consumed in France and ten percent sold abroad to Canada, the United States, Great Britain, Holland, and Japan. With 2,600 years of history behind Provence rosé wine making history and equity, it’s indeed amazing that the rosé “brand image” would take so many years to turn a new leaf. In the 1980’s some French wine makers, such as Chateau Simone and La Commanderie de Peyrassol, believed rosé wine should be taken seriously once more, and subsequently started increasing the quality of pink wines. Since the beginning of the new millennium, other French rosé producers have been looking at exports for growth, targeting primarily the US and UK. According to Evelyne Lejeune-Resnick, a wine marketing consultant based in Paris, these aspirations have provided mixed results. “It works well for the UK because they have a tradition and taste for pink wines. They were the major market for pink wines in the past centuries, and they’ve kept that taste. For the US it’s more difficult because a lot of pink wines are produced in the US. They’re mostly blush or White Zinfandel, so they’re very sugary and very sweet—totally different from our dry pink wines….I would say that the taste for Americans is more of an acquired taste—not something they’re used to.”     “Righting The Wrongs of Rosé” On any given day in the Napa Valley, Jeff Morgan, an American winemaker, author, and winery co-owner, is busy espousing the virtues of dry rosé wines. After playing music professionally in France in the 1970’s and 80’s, he came to enjoy the lightness and versatility of the pink wines that had appeased royalty some centuries before. So much so he eventually decided to start his own commercial winery, with the help of business partner Daniel Moore, based in Napa Valley dedicated solely to “pink wines.” Dubbed SoloRosa (“only pink” in Italian), the beginning was 1000 cases and a heck of a lot of conviction. “People thought we were out of our minds to start a winery based on rosé. I said, ‘Maybe we are, but this is what I love to drink, and it goes with so many different foods… I’m sure we’ll find a market for it.’” Not only did Morgan find a market, but through the efforts of his and others’ rosé passion, a grassroots, viral marketing campaign of sorts was formed in the States through Morgan’s promotion of his own cookbooks, including the first book on rosé wines from around the world. Also, his organization RAP (Rosé Avengers and Producers) produces “Pink Out” events in New York and San Francisco to further evangelize rosé wines from around the world. Morgan attributes rosé brand evangelism through the press and trade and public events to the rise of American consumer demands for dry rosé wines, also citing increased competition from the “big boys,” such as Gallo and Clos du Bois, for rosé shelf space as further proof. Back in Provence, James de Roany, manager of French winemakers PGA Domaines and Secretary General for the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Provence (Provence Wine Producing Interprofessional Council), is well aware of increased competition and busy with his own evangelizing for wines out of Provence. “French wine trade people are not very keen on marketing. They prefer to promote their ‘terroir’ rather than a brand. They believe that the terroir [dictates] the wine, and that the wine shouldn’t compromise and adapt to the consumer needs. I believe the later is a great mistake… We have had the idea to brand a region with the hope that people will think of ‘Rosé de Provence’ as they do with Carmenere from Chile or Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand… Provence has been doing rosé wines for 26 centuries, so there are some good foundations to work on.” Indeed, Rosé de Provence is a branded effort now sanctioned by the French government to promote the best of several terroirs and appellations to consumers—especially those new to wine tasting. As of 2007, the organized efforts of PGA Domaines, which manages three wineries in the Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence Appellation, have led to French policy making that now allows “Rosé de Provence” labels to appear on wine bottles. The move is “based on the idea of wanting to highlight the intrinsic quality of Provencal wines, of using the outstanding international reputation associated with this region that brings to mind an ideal lifestyle, dreamy holidays, and the dolce vita.” Now that’s one reason to drink and “think pink.\"

Marketing
How Strong Is Your Brand?

Today’s tough economic climate may cause you to be leery about the prospects of your brand in the coming year. Reduced budgets and shrinking staffs may indeed limit the marketing activity you can plan, but in order for your brand not only to survive but thrive in this economy, you must take action and ensure it remains strong. A weak brand is susceptible to scrutiny by critics, encroachment from competitors and increased pressure from channel partners. In this economy, a weak brand has little to draw from besides price reductions and desperate promotions to generate interest. In contrast, a strong brand counteracts the downward pull of a tough market by sustaining price premiums and higher margins because differentiation clears perception and results in its offerings are perceived to be differentiated and of higher value. A strong brand also staves off competitive threats because it is not as easily copied. The benefits of a strong brand include increased market value of the business to investors due to stronger customer equity, more efficient operations and intangibles/“goodwill,” as well as more negotiation power with suppliers, channels and M&A prospects. The stronger your brand, the more efficient and effective your organization becomes, because employees are aligned and focused. So what makes a strong brand strong? A strong brand distinguishes itself by being: • Meaningful: a strong brand is relevant and compelling to its target customers. Some brands create desire; others meet existing demand—either way, the customers you care about have to, in turn, care about what the brand delivers. • Differentiating: a strong brand gives the business a distinct advantage over competitors. Moreover, the difference must make a difference—your target customers should perceive the difference and think it is important. • Believable: a strong brand doesn’t stretch too far or overpromise. These days people are savvy and naturally skeptical—they know if something sounds too good to be true, it is. So the way you communicate about your brand should be authentic. • Transcendent: a strong brand conveys value beyond a specific offering. The reality is, great products come and go. A strong brand adds value to a great product when it has one, and still gives people a reason to buy when it doesn\'t. • Consistently experienced: a strong brand is expressed and delivered consistently across all touchpoints—not just in advertising and marketing communications, but in everything the company does. A brand’s strength, however, is measured by more than the way people who are buying or using the brand perceive it—that is, the external perspective. Internal perceptions—those of the people responsible for developing and delivering the brand—also play a role. The internal perspective on brand strength includes whether the brand is: • Sustainable: a strong brand enables the business to compete now and in the future. Not a fad-dependent or short-lived idea, a brand should be an enduring proposition that drives continuous improvement and innovation for the organization. • Adding business value: a strong brand makes business sense. You should be able to show, measure and manage the causal relationship between brand expenditures and increased revenue. Usually it goes something like: brand spend → image equity → customer preference → customer purchase/repurchase → revenue increase. • Clearly articulated: a strong brand is clearly defined and described to all stakeholders. A “stakeholder” is a person or group that has an investment, share or interest in something. In this case, that “something” is your brand, so your stakeholders are employees, business partners like vendors and distributors, agencies, and investors or shareholders. Alignment in brand execution begins with common understanding. • Used as a tool: a strong brand inspires, informs and instructs all stakeholders so that they interpret and reinforce it in their daily decision-making and actions. The brand should drive the organization, guiding every single business task. • Operationalized: a strong brand must be more than a vision a company expresses in advertising—it must be what it does and what it delivers. Operationalizing the brand involves the deliberate and systematic management of the business around the brand—identifying, prioritizing, and implementing programs and initiatives to deliver brand values and attributes through the core organizational operating system. by Denise Lee Yohn

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