Today, in many organizations around the world, branding is treated only as a cosmetic exercise and seen simply as a new name, logo, stationery, and possibly a new advertising campaign. But, associating your “brand” with such superficial cosmetics is like saying that people are really just the sum of their name, face, and sometimes their clothes.
But branding is a thoughtful discipline that belongs strongly to an organization’s long-term strategy; brand strategy is, or should be, business strategy, and vice versa.
Smart Branding is all about having a clear point of view on what an organization is all about and how you can deliver a thoughtful and unique experience to your customers. Then, execution is about organizing all products, services, and corporate operations around the customer, to bridge the gap between the promised and delivered brand experience.
For example, Staples, an office supply retailer in the US, aims to make the shopping experience easy, as communicated in its trademarked slogan “that was easy.” In practice, it may mean training front-line staff on customer service processes (eg how to minimize problems during checkout), designing the website for instant product reviews and real-time delivery, and schedule quick order deliveries and pickups. of returns. All these organizational aspects are thus reinforced and converge on the same strategic objective.
Addressing branding as a business strategy is seeing how all products, services and interactions with the consumer under the brand name become pillars of trust derived from the experience of your customers; For example, the iExperience that iFamily of Apples’ iProducts offers to its iFanatics.
To be successful, Smart Branding must be seen as an important part of corporate strategy, something that will profoundly influence the entire organization. That is why Smart Branding initiatives must be directed not only to the external client but also to the interior of the organization, transforming the figure of the CEO into the brand champion who promotes the brand and all the people in the organization; Think Howard Schultz, Steve Jobs or Richard Branson
To truly become and act as brand champions, CEOs must make all of their decisions based on three premises:
1. The brand is the most important asset of the organization
2. The most important source of income is the customer, and
3. Branding is all about business planning.
These three premises will help CEOs follow the most important rule of the marketing game: If you don’t sell, you’re not in business.
This CEO-level approach to branding allows brands to have assisted recognition that can result in premium pricing and extension opportunities, ultimately increasing customer loyalty. It also provides tangible management metrics to evaluate initiatives, which can eventually be transformed into tangible brand values.