Within your company, who really builds the brand? Which department is responsible for brand-building?
Trick question! The answer is “All of them.” Everyone plays a part in delivering on the brand positioning and bringing the brand to life.
Let’s use a hypothetical consumer packaged goods company as an example of “who does what” (the parallels to your own company should be easy to see):
Marketing – Establishes the brand positioning, identifies the go-to-market strategy and plan to win (Who, What, Where, When and How), and ultimately owns all brand activity and results.
Sales – Guides the retail experience in line with the brand positioning, and, most critically, ensures that the product is available to consumers when and where they need it.
Market Research / Intelligence – Identifies new opportunities and closes blind spots through information collection and analysis.
Operations and Manufacturing – Fills demand and ensures the lowest (most competitive) delivered cost in line with the brand positioning.
Finance – Ensures the brand is profitable and financially optimized.
Customer Service – Handles consumer requests and inquiries effectively, again in line with brand positioning.
R&D – Generates ideas and improvements that help the brand to remain relevant and innovative.
It’s easy to see how the failure of any department could have a devastating impact on the brand. It’s not just about what the Marketing department is doing.
This view of organizational brand delivery has several important implications:
- Marketing is the “hub of the wheel,” not “king of the mountain”. The best marketers consider others their partners in the brand’s success, not order-takers or lackeys. The ability to build strong working teams is one of the hallmarks of a successful brand leader.
- The CEO’s role in the success of the entire system is almost impossible to overstate.
- As stated previously in this space – your brand is everything you do!
About Matthew Fenton: Matthew helps challenger brands to focus, grow and win. Since founding his consultancy, Three Deuce Branding, in 1997, he’s helped hundreds of brands to achieve “brand clarity.” His consulting services and speaking engagements help brands to focus on what matters through positioning, strategy and ideation. Contact Matthew here. He calls Chicago home.
Copyright 2014 – Matthew Fenton. All Rights Reserved. You may reprint this article with the original, unedited text intact, including the About Matthew Fenton section.