The most successful re-brands use input from all employees and stakeholders. Of course, this is easier said than done, as everyone has their opinions and thoughts of the brand, and someone has to steer the ship toward brand success. A strong brand is created using an “all-in” approach.
Branding can be as frustrating and counterproductive as a hammer designed by a committee, or as simple and effective as a couple of smart people understanding how the customer comes to trust and prefer a company or product. Branding requires digging into the organization and either defining or re-enforcing the way the value of the enterprise is expressed.
As a marketing manager you may know that your city, state, airport, or regionally themed restaurant, did not start this year on an equal footing with Eagle Brand Condensed Milk. There are many reasons, such as some place-based entities have stakeholders who don’t believe the rules governing brand awareness, trust and preference apply to them.
We’ve been connecting brands to execution (the stories we tell) for years. Sometimes, as with a pharmaceutical client, the stories executed are not so much about products but the brands value to its audience and how its mission affects their lives.
Just like a flu shot, a brand needs regular check-ups to ensure the brand identity is strong and healthy. Here is marketing’s chance to get ahead of the symptoms before they cause lasting damage. This is where the brand audit comes in.
The best way to crisis management is to be ready to manage the crisis way before it happens. Figure out the “what ifs” and have a plan for each “what if?” Social media is a fast mover so getting on top of a crisis has to be just as quick.
How do you design a compensation plan that rewards agencies for great work while providing clients a good return on investment? Finding the right mix can be complicated because the Brand/Agency relationship is more than a simple task-related arrangement. As the Bedford Group, a respected agency research firm writes, “A client’s relationship with its communications firm is one of the most complex in the business environment and requires a substantial level of collaboration from both parties to make it effective and sustainable, especially in these trying times where patience is thinner, loyalty is weaker and understanding is more shallow.”
Who thought up Hourly Billing?
In the 1970s, when media costs were skyrocketing and commissions were buying a lot of champagne for agencies, clients started cutting commissions and demanding accountability. To cover revenue reductions agencies began billing by the hour, and sophisticated overhead formulas and time sheets became an essential part of life. As accountants and purchasing people became part of the agency selection process, marketing relationships seemed to be more about who negotiates the best deal rather than who can best drive business. My peers in the agency business have argued for years that the hourly based model hinders them from doing great work.
A broken system
Billing by the hour incentivizes inefficiency. It is in the agency’s interest to assign more headcount rather than less. And, it’s difficult to know if the hours estimated are what is needed to get the job done. Estimate too many hours and penalize the client. Two few hours penalize the agency.
But Richard Goldstein, a New York CPA, looks at it this way, “There are advantages for the agency: It’s easy, it can be a cost accounting tool, and it transfers risk to the client if the engagement goes over budget.
See the six steps to value pricing
Human built places can’t exist without the technology called our brain. It is also the brain that decides how to communicate with other brains to create desire for places and things. It is the unique human brain that figures out how to persuade other humans to act in certain ways.
Knowing how to fix a business-related problem is hard enough, but the task is exponentially more difficult if you don’t know what your problem is or where it starts.
Awareness and persuasion should not be either/or. The best brands do both with the same budget. Every effort to generate awareness has the potential to leverage brand positioning, and positioning is essential in persuading prospects to buy and buy again.