A recent article on Forbes.com looks at what’s underneath changing a brand and avoiding sucking your wallet dry.
Written by Bruce Kasanoff
In the mid-90s, I was on the IBM account at Ogilvy & Mather, during the period at which IBM’s brand went through a massive transformation. Worldwide, IBM fired all its agencies and gave the entire business to Ogilvy.
The brand went from arrogant to approachable. The phrase we used internally was “magic you can trust.” IBM’s new TV ads, for example, were funny and self-deprecating.
Truth is, the brand changed long before the company did. But changing the brand told the employees what the company was to become. To IBM’s credit, management changed the company to match the brand. They got out of the PC business, which IBM never fully understood. They became a services company. More recently, they adopted the Smarter Planet theme, years before everyone else realized that was a brilliant move.
To change your brand, change what’s underneath it
IBM is the best case, because it is a company at which the head of marketing and the CEO work together. Marketing is inextricably intertwined with strategy and substance.
But at too many firms, marketing is about spin. There’s not enough substance under the brand.
Substance can be boiled down to three things:
- Culture: Does the culture of your company fit with the promises your brand makes?
- Conditions: Do your employees have the systems and tools necessary to deliver what customers expect, given what your brand communicates?
- Compensation: Are employees rewarded for doing what your brand promises?
Read the full article here