Thinking

Leveraging the brand in the boardroom

May 13, 2018

Our MD, Lulu Raghavan, recently spoke at the monthly meet of the British Business Group. Lulu’s address, titled “Brand in the boardroom” was centered on a topic she passionately evangelizes – the inevitable connection between brand health and shareholder wealth.

Brands are a treasure trove of unlockable value is waiting to be discovered. Brands now form part of marketing intangibles that businesses can valuate, develop and grow. Viewed this way, brands have a multiplier effect on the business.

But what really is a brand? Is it a tag line, a logo, aesthetically pleasing design, products or the most popularly accepted definition, an ad campaign?

Brands are the sum total of perception. Jeff Bezos once said, “Your brand is what people say about you, when you’re not in the room”. In the 21st century marketplace, truer words haven’t been said. The room however has become bigger. Besides your employees, shareholders and customers a large online community pooled from forums, opinion rooms and social platforms have a share of voice in the perception of your brand and its eventual success.

Whether you’re a business owner, brand manager, product designer or an artist, you are responsible for creating and managing perceptions, whether your own or someone else’s.

In 2018, brand is an fluid dynamic asset, one that evolves over time.

You can create this asset, by embarking on a brand building journey (listed below), divided into 3 phases.

  1. Creating the asset – define and express your brand
  2. Creating the brand inside out – activate the power of your people
  3. Creating the experience – activate a 360 degree experience

1) Creating the asset –

Why does the world need another fashion brand? Another pharma major? Another energy maker perhaps?

The first step to building a brand is defining the brand’s raison d’etre. A set of distinguishing beliefs, behaviors and a strong core idea define what a brand can stand for, while never standing still. Crafting a truly unique proposition will give you a future-ready brand platform that you can evolve over time.

Take BP for example, BP’s reason to exist is to transform the world’s relationship with energy. Committing to a future with green, alternative sources of energy and a strong belief that innovation can save the world is what BP stands for. Truly a company that leverages the power of brand to shape the energy future of the world.

 

Read the full BP case study, here.

2) Create the brand inside –

Your employees are your biggest brand ambassadors. This is an opportunity to activate the brand internally, such that it becomes a living, dynamic system supporting the business. Engaging and exciting employees about the brand is difficult, but achievable by using a set of uniquely designed symbols, rituals and stories. Take Google for example – the bike you use to ride around campus is painted in the Google logo’s bright hues, or a dinosaur model installed outside the workplace as a constant reminder to employees to never stop innovating!

Rituals at Google include – free lunches, reverse appraisals and the seven seater bike that new recruits get on to for an unforgettable induction. Google uses its Hangouts platform to share incredible stories with its employees. All in all, Google keeps its employees engaged and excited, all the time!

Now that you know how to assemble, your army of brand loving employees, it is time to activate a holistic, 360 degree experience.

3) Creating the brand experience.

At Landor, we believe that brands behave like humans, they look, talk, feel, do and dream a certain way. Similarly, brands can use experiences to unlock Basket (GNB) is a great example of a differentiated brand experience.

Using the power of vibrant colors, playful food photography, witty copy and authentic provenance stories we brought brand GNB to life in every store across touchpoints, creating a never before seen food retail experience.

 

Read the full GNB case study, here.

To conclude, strong brands encourage employee engagement, enable higher pricing, increase share value, expand market share and secure lasting customer loyalty.

Brand

Ultimate proof: Well branded businesses index outperforms the S&P index (2018) | Data Source: Brand Finance

 

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