A Holistic View of Building A Strong Brand
Great branded companies share many common attributes, but the most important similarity is the idea that all employees clearly understand what their brand's promise is and what role they need to play in bringing that promise to life. By understanding this, every single employee knows what day-to-day decisions and actions will reinforce the brand or harm the image of the brand. Employees at every level of the organization, including customer service, research and development, sales, senior management and human resources embody the brand and know what it takes to meet brand objectives.
To help senior executives understand the importance of building a brand-driven business to drive long-term growth, Scott Davis and Michael Dunn, of the strategic consulting firm Prophet, show them the most effective ways to deliver their brand across every interaction with customers, stakeholders and even the employees within the company. They call this holistic concept of brand building "operationalizing the brand." This is the author's way of explaining that all employees in an organization must work in a cohesive and consistent way to support the brand and its promise to guarantee that all stakeholders and customers are always satisfied and even excited by their experience with the brand.
Aligning Offerings With a Brand
The authors write that the way companies can do this is by ensuring that in-store, catalogue and online offerings are all aligned with the brand. Companies that want to do this must also ensure that customer service representatives are talking about the brand in the same way as the sales force, and that all external messaging efforts are consistent with each other. These strategies are ways brand-driven businesses are developed through operationalizing a brand.
Bringing a brand to life internally, the authors write, allows companies to deliver on the brand externally in the most consistent, cohesive and effective way possible. They write that operationalizing a brand helps a company take control of its brand's destiny.
Building the Brand-Driven Business explains why holistically managing a brand is more critical than ever before. It also sets up the premise that business strategy and brand strategy are the same thing. The authors discuss operationalizing a brand in terms of the different brand interactions that a customer has with the brand. While offering strategies for identifying and prioritizing these brand "touchpoints" along the purchase cycle, the authors introduce a framework for identifying and assessing these touchpoints. They also offer ways to prioritize each touchpoint relative to its degree of influence on customers and stakeholders. By helping companies organize brand touchpoints, the authors reveal three distinct stages that customers go through while developing a relationship with a brand.
Delivering the Brand Promise
Strategies for the pre-purchase experience, the purchase experience and the post-purchase experience are explored in terms of the tactics companies can use to satisfy customers, keep them satisfied after a sale, and keep the relationship alive over time to facilitate future purchases of the brand.
Building the Brand-Driven Business also describes the fine points of bringing a brand to life within an organization so external customers experience the brand in a consistent way. The authors write that the entire employee base must be part of delivering the brand promise on a daily basis, and that measuring all brand-building activities is crucial to achieving the goals and objectives of a brand, and becoming smarter about brand-building activities.
The book's last chapter discusses methods companies can use to implement the ideas presented by the authors. Davis and Dunn explain that companies with successful brands, such as FedEx, Virgin, 3M and H&R Block, have implemented a brand-based culture in which every employee lives the brand on a daily basis. The authors also offer ideas about the structures and roles that are needed to support brand-driven change.
Why Soundview Likes This Book
Building the Brand-Driven Business offers a practical guide organizations can use to build their brands as well as helpful tips to help them put its lessons to use. By providing a clear picture of what companies must do to build up their brands and achieve long-term strategic objectives, the authors shed new light on traditional brand-building approaches by concentrating on building deeper, loyalty-based customer relationships with an improved brand-building plan.