Making brand dreams come true

Translating brand strategy to brand operations is crucial 

A solid brand is as important as having wings on an airplane. In times of good and bad economic conditions, your brand leads the way to bottom-line results.

At least that is where we, hopefully, can agree upon as brand leaders. So let's dive into the fun stuff of making your brand dreams come true.

(Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash)

Your brand is a strategic enabler

Your brand is a strategic enabler to achieve company goals. It is not just eye candy. Therefore, a sound brand strategy and implementation to achieve streamlined brand operations throughout the organisation is crucial. As a basis are three main reasons:

  1. We want to inspire and facilitate colleagues to work on our common goal;
  2. We want to efficiently deploy and manage our brand in local markets;
  3. We want to build a data set to show what value brand management brings to the organisation to ensure continuous investment in the brand.

During one of our Brand VIP Events, brand leaders discussed the following statement: consider if setting common goals is a better idea rather than chasing one culture. “If culture matters so much, why do we claim that it’s best to shape one single culture (read the learnings of the event here). This inherently means abandoning existing cultures. Ask yourself if, in your particular case, it would be better to find a positive flow and common ground than to swim upstream.

How to achieve smooth brand operations

During a (re)branding project, right after the strategic/design phase, an impact analysis is conducted by agencies specialised in making an inventory of all visual brand touch points. They do this to give you a rough calculation of the required budget and propose ways of organising your brand transition.

What they often forget to do is analyse the impact on operations and their (digital) transition. The human factor is often underexposed, which makes it hard to get people on your side during the rebranding, especially when trying to embed the brand (strategy) in the organisation for the long term. Some ideas to both connect the visual and human touch points:

  • Analyse which visual and human brand touch point are crucial for rebranding, our Rebranding Cheat Sheet can help you with that
  • Educate the people that work with the brand (Brand Community) so interaction with all the brand touch points are top notch #brandcoherency
  • Digitise the ‘visual touch points’ while overhauling your brand materials to make working with the brand easier on a global and local level and get insights/data on how the brand is being used #brandconsistency #digitaltransformation

Setting your brand governance before rebranding

Start with the Brand Governance structure before implementing your new brand. The role of brand governance is to ensure that brands are presented consistently, that guidelines are properly executed, that rules are followed (Landor, 2017). The people you need to rebrand are the Brand Governance Structure - or more popularly said, your Brand Community.

See how you can facilitate and automate the process of (re)branding, sharing knowledge, guidelines and create a self-service platform to enable your workforce to work with the brand. In this way, talking with your brand community becomes easier and budget conversation can be backed up by the data/insights that you have collected. By doing so, you will smoothen your way forward. #brandaccountability

Our Digital Brand Management Maturity Model helps you to set the ambition level in combination with the organisation maturity. Good food for discussion.

During the same Brand VIP session, Professor Emeritus dr. ing. Jacques Reijniers MBA (Nyenrode University), who is seasoned in making purchasing strategies work for multinationals, advised us to “provide a clear, consistent and honest context of the strategic urgency of the rebranding” in order to onboard people with our strategic initiative and making them understand the ‘why’.

Unleash positive energy of making the brand successful

The strategic part of branding is mostly being seen as the fun part. But if you ask me, the translation to operations is what really makes the difference and where the fun kicks in. A great example is Rabobank: they are very active in helping their brand community to work with the brand using technology. In their own words:

“Our most important task is still to motivate our colleagues to use the CommunicatieShop as much as possible. Whether you work in Communication, as a controller or in the IT department: the platform is designed to add value for anyone. We contribute significantly to the brand consistency and to effective and unified methods within the organisation and, mainly online, we are able to mitigate many (security) risks with the help of clear solutions”

 Rabobank CommunicationShop (the whole case: Why all Rabobank communication is handled via a single platform') is a great example of a successful translation from strategy to operations. Resulting in a more consistent and coherent brand, while streamlining processes and enhancing job satisfaction of employees.

Connecting people from over the world to work together and making the company/brand a success, unleashes a big amount of positive energy! Yes, some of them will resist, but most people are more than willing to walk the journey with you if success awaits at the horizon.

Niels Beernink

Niels Beernink is marketing director at integrated enterprise marketing and communication platform Capital ID. Prior to joining Capital ID in 2017, Niels was lead senior consultant at global brand management and implementation consultancy VIM Group and solutions marketing manager at HR software and services provider Raet.