Brand building by the dozen

Alan Gilmour

3rd August 2010

Thought Piece by Cogent's Brand Practice

We believe that all brands, whether product or service, are now 'Experience Brands' to a greater or lesser extent. No longer can product brands guarantee control through the product design and packaging: people are now a key ingredient of the brand experience. Too often organisations obsess about the marketing of the brand or the customer models, all stunningly important, but increasingly the issue is about how the colleagues deliver and live the brand on a daily basis.

Brands are built from the inside out and we feel that the area of people in branding is perhaps the most neglected area of brand management. With this in mind we decided to find out how organisations are managing their brand experience, and in particular how they deliver on the 'people element'.

Our research amongst a range of senior people in both private and public sectors, led us to identify 12 factors common to organisations successful in delivering their brand through people. These are:

1. Be clear where you are

2. 'Half-fat' plans don't work

3. What does success look like

4. Keep the story simple

5. Find a leader

6. Brand the programme

7. Know who you are and then adorn yourself accordingly

8. One size does not fit all

9. Dramatise your messages

10. Segment your colleagues before they fragment you

11. A brand is for life...not just for Christmas

12. Measurement is critical to show success.

We believe that the brand model has now changed because every brand has to deliver an experience and people are a key part of this. For organisations committed to building an Experiential Brand, the 12 factors identified are vital steps on the path to brand success.