Global Choice and Competition
Economic globalization, global choice, competition and the spread of technology have made brands the most effective way to cut through the clutter to building long-term brand value.
The CMI view of brands is that they emerge from the interactions of customers, employees, and media not growing from the top down, but from the bottom up in a distributed social network.
The process of constructing a brand strategy is more complex than most companies think.
A company’s brand identity is a unique set of associations that a brand aspires to maintain with its customer; associations that should represent the strategic goal for the brand.
Every representation of a company’s image that people see, whether it’s corporate stationery, brand names, a product and its packaging, a brochure or annual report, a logo in an ad, a sign, graphics on a vehicle, or a name badge worn by a counter clerk, can successfully shape opinion of key audiences and offers an opportunity to win respect and admiration. The word “brand” comes from the Swedish word “brandr” which means “to burn.” The branding of cattle helped distinguish property that got mixed together after a long road on the trail, when cattle were separated by a ranches brand. The brand carried the reputation of the rancher and needed to be easily recognizable.
Business and organizations can successfully shape opinion of key audiences by strategically managing and delivering the many vehicles of their communication program that represent their brand.
That’s why successful companies hire CMI brand strategy, brand consulting, and brand management services, to plan and produce relevant business communications.
Relevant expertise is not necessarily expertise in the same industry or product category, but more importantly, experience in handling similar problems for similar-sized organizations and product categories, or with similar target audiences. Notice how the banking industry branch interiors are moving toward a retail / hotel feeling and how McDonald’s is appearing more like Starbucks.
They realize that they need professionals to help them figure out which message to send out and how to deliver it and make it memorable and compelling, transferring lessons learned from other industries to the problems at hand.
1. Consider your overall business strategy.
If you have a well-differentiated brand, growing your firm will be much easier. In this environment, many are coming into existing markets with plenty of competition. But what type of firm do YOU want? How are you planning to grow or function? Your overall business strategy is the context for your brand development strategy, so start there. If you are clear about where you want to take your firm, your brand (the unspoken promise to the customer) will help you get there.
See our case history on CCFL.