If you asked any senior staffer if their brand was an indispensable part of their company they would say…” of course it is” …but is it really? Usually the company’s brand responsibilities reside in the marketing department. As important as the brand is to the well-being of the company, the details of the brand such as the brand’s direction, personality, graphic standards and the collateral materials are often ignored by the rest of the company. It is just assumed that branding is a marketing only function. If the marketing team members are the only people really engaged in the brand health and life, then how can the rest of the company align behind the brand culturally and environmentally and interdependently as they plan or function.
Marketing people think of the CFO and the financial staff as disablers or restrictors. Financial teams think that marketing people are irrational spenders. Sales teams think marketing teams need only to create ideas and collateral that helps them sell.
This may sound like over generalizations but they are not far from the truth. The net result however is the company culture is not sharing the same concept of the brand. Yes, one of the attributes of a strong brand is its ability for the sales team to sell more product than another brand. The main purpose of the brand to the financial team might be the brand’s equity. The point is everyone has a limited concept of the brand’s role in the company.
This is brand dislocation plain and simple. As simple test can determine if your company suffers from brand dislocation.
Questions for the Financial Team
- Can you articulate the brand’s proposition to the end user?
- Can you explain the brand’s personality?
- In your opinion, does the marketing department spend too much money?
- Are there brand images and advertising campaign posters in the financial work area?
- Does Marketing ever make a presentation to the Finance Department at the launch of the year letting them see and understand where the brand is going in the next fiscal year?
Here are the answers to the questions when there is brand dislocation present.
- The brand’s what?
- What do you mean by personality?
- Yes, and on a lot of stuff that doesn’t give us a good return.
- No we don’t want that stuff in our area.
- No but that might be fun to see what we are going to be spending all our money on.
I think you get the idea.
At Campisi, Manzella and Associates LLC, we utilize a product that we call “The Living Brand” to bring all the functional areas of the company to share in one common vision of their brand. By having one shared vision, they can create operating principles that are utilized in all aspects of the company. The company creates a Brand Trust, a group of trusted employees (usually senior staff) as brand stewards. It is their job to ensure that the brand permeates the company in all aspects.
One of the outcomes of The Living Brand is evidenced by Finance and Marketing working together from inception, on the business plan. The Brand Trust works with both disciplines to ensure there is clear understanding and compliance regarding the way the company is going to utilize its budgets to ensure that the brand is healthy and grows. They become partners in the brand instead of gatekeepers.
In Just two days of in house meetings and a few days of work afterwards, we can get your company moving in the right direction. We will then work with each team to help present the Living Brand and what their part will be in keeping the brand vibrant and healthy.
The corporate benefits: Higher brand recognition and awareness for all stakeholders and consumers, increased sales as a result of better presentations and product relevance, proper budgeting to achieve corporate goals.
If you are interested in learning how we can get your company aligned and going in the right direction regarding your brand, please fill in the box below. We will get back to you within a few days to see how best we can work for you.