While having a compelling brand promise is critical, that promise will only have impact if it is fulfilled. This is why the most successful brand strategies are extremely far-reaching – impacting the organization at all levels, and shaping the entire customer experience. Brand Activation therefore involves a wide range of activities and initiatives, all aimed at aligning the organization, its culture, and its offering to deliver a consistent and compelling customer experience in harmony with the brand promise.
While the traditional view of branding centers mainly on marketing and communications, our approach takes a broad, cross-functional view that utilizes the brand as a the driver of strategy and company-wide implementation. This necessitates the development and coordination of initiatives involving all of the disciplines and business functions that impact and shape the brand experience – such as marketing, product innovation and development, customer experience design, operations, supply chain, organizational development, and so on. Our consulting team has the breadth and depth of expertise to support our clients with a full range of strategy execution initiatives – which are always tailored to the specific client circumstances and objectives.
Some of the more common brand activation initiatives include . . .
Product & Service Innovation
For a brand strategy to have substantial market impact, it must be tangible and credible – i.e., supported by a product or service offer that delivers strongly on the brand promise. In fact, the products or services you offer define your brand, its positioning, and its values in the minds customers for years to come. It is therefore critical that those products and services align with the brand promise – and that branding is not viewed as a “wrapper” or “selling message” for otherwise undifferentiated products and services. Effective Brand Activation therefore requires “brand-driven innovation,” which leads to the proper selection and sequence of new product or service launches in support of the brand strategy.
Customer Experience Design
How do your customers interact with your brand? What is their path to purchase? What are the critical touch points and experiences that either make or break your brand and customer experience? Today’s consumers and business customers alike demand authenticity and consistency from the brands they buy. This means that for a brand to build preference and loyalty, its strategy execution must impact far more than the product, packaging and communications. Rather, all key brand interactions must deliver strongly on the promise – such as social media, events, promotions, the in-store experience, customer service, after sales support and more. Simply put, the total brand experience is what matters.
Marketing Strategy & Launch Plans
Launching a brand (or repositioning one) requires careful coordination of a wide range of activities across the organization. This involves developing and executing against a comprehensive plan that aligns the entire enterprise – and keeps it on strategy. This includes sequencing and integration of such initiatives as market or segment selection, all forms of marketing communications, tracking metrics, new product rollouts, customer service enhancements, internal rollout programs, capabilities or process improvements, new partnerships, and organizational design. To ensure maximum market impact, our approach to launch strategy uses the brand framework to ensure that critical initiatives both deploy required capabilities and resources at the right time, and align strongly with the brand strategy.
Internal Rollout, Brand Culture & Enterprise Revitalization
Great external branding is no longer enough. It is equally important to ensure that people inside the company understand the brand – and more importantly, that they are aligned with and live up to the brand promise in their daily lives. A company with a strong brand culture is one in which everyone who impacts the brand and the brand experience has a shared sense of purpose, a sense of urgency, a competitive mindset, and passion for continuously seeking ways to fulfill the brand promise. From the beginning, we have been proponents of using branding to define culture, shape organizational dynamics, and drive understanding, enthusiasm, and commitment. Our entire approach is designed with this goal in mind – and we help our clients accomplish it through the integration of organizational design and development with internal brand rollout programs, ongoing internal communications, and training.