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Essentials of Branding - The big Book of Marketing Essentials of Branding - The big Book of Marketing Document Transcript

  • The essentials of brandingfrom The Big Book of MarketingMcGraw-Hill, 2010
  • This PDF is designed to be printeddouble-sided to help you conserve paper.
  • contentsIntroduction 1The difference between a brand and branding 2Starting a branding project 4Start with the right reason 4Start with the right commitment 4Start with the right business strategy 5Start with the right focus: Customers 5Analyze the brand’s equity 6Uncover insights and identify opportunities 7The brand strategy 8Defining the brand idea 8Defining the brand architecture 9Defining the brand personality 10Producing the creative brief 12Creating the brand experience 13Crafting the verbal identity 13Designing the visual and sensory identities 15Testing verbal and visual identities 22Delivering the brand experience 23Managing a brand 24Measuring the performance of a brand 26Tracking brand strength 26Measuring brand value 27Case study: BP 30Delivering the brand promise
  • © 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies.All rights reserved.Landor Associates is one of the world’sleading strategic brand consulting anddesign firms. Landor is part of WPP, oneof the largest global communicationsservices companies. Visit Landorat landor.com.
  • 1Landor Associates 1is the preferred choice in the minds of your keyaudiences (whether customers, consumers,employees, prospective employees, fans, donors,or voters). The way in which the brand affectsbusiness performance is illustrated in figure 1.Business performance is based on the behaviorof customers, whether they choose to buya particular product or service. And that behavioris based a great deal on the perception customershave of the brand: how relevant it is to them andhow differentiated it is from the other brands in thesame category. In turn, customers derive theirperceptions of a brand from the interactions theyhave with it. Finally, that customer experience,ideally, is informed by a brand idea—what thebrand stands for: the promise it is willing to makeand keep in the marketplace. If the first part of thischain of cause and effect is indistinct or irrelevantto customers, there is little chance the rest of thechain will work, and the brand will not affect thebusiness’ bottom line. Yet, despite the proliferationof brands and their inextricable link to businessperformance, it is not easy to define what a brandis, along with how to create, manage, and value it.IntroductionIt is incredibly rare for a product or organizationto be without a brand. There are museum brands(Guggenheim, Smithsonian), people brands (MarthaStewart, David Beckham), political brands (Obamaversus McCain, Labour versus Conservatives),destination brands (Australia, Hong Kong), sportbrands (Manchester United, New York Yankees,Super Bowl), nonprofit brands (Red Cross, Oxfam,RED), branded associations (YMCA, PGA, Associationof Zoos and Aquariums), along with the product,service, and corporate brands with which we areall familiar. Many old marketing textbooks talk aboutbrands versus commodities (no-name products),but in today’s world very few true commoditiesare left. Even basic foodstuffs have some sort ofidentifier on them, whether it is a private-labelstore brand such as Walmart’s Great Value saltor a major brand such as Morton Salt.Brands help people make a choice, a choice amongsalts, financial institutions, political parties, and soon, and the choices are increasing. The number ofbrands on grocery store shelves, for example, tripledin the 1990s from 15,000 to 45,000.1The purpose ofbranding is to ensure that your product or serviceThis article was first published as Chapter 4in The Big Book of Marketing: Lessons andBest Practices from the World’s GreatestCompanies, edited by Anthony G. Bennett(McGraw-Hill, 2010).Sarah Wealleans is a consultantand former senior client director withLandor Associates. Additional input fromTrevor Wade, Hayes Roth, Susan Nelson,Mich Bergesen, and Charlie Wrench.The essentialsof branding 1 McKinsey & Company, “Strike Up the Brands” (2003).
  • 2 Essentials of brandingCoke has worked incredibly hard at implantingsome of these brand associations in our minds:The idea and delivery of refreshment (and the supplymanagement and distribution that are behind this),product placement, the color red, the associationwith a popular TV program, and the advertising allmake us feel good about the brand. Coke has notcontrolled the buildup of these associations, but ithas tried, at every stage of our experience with thebrand, to positively influence them.Accepting the second set of definitions poses moreof a challenge. The first definition suggests that thebrand is the purview of the marketing department—just get the name, logo, design, and advertising rightand you have your brand. The second shows howthe brand is inextricably linked to the business. Thecreation of the brand may begin in the marketingdepartment, but the experience of the brand hasto be driven through all parts of the organization.Every interaction, or touchpoint, in a customer’sexperience of a brand makes a difference.If you consider Apple, the quintessential brandsuccess story, the most powerful parts of thecustomers’ experience of the brand are not confinedto traditional brand elements, such as the logo, thename, or the advertising. It is the environment ofthe Apple stores that encourages you to stay andexplore (and upgrade) and interact with its productsand its genius bar. It is iTunes as much as the iPod,the applications as much as the iPhone. It is Apple’scustomer service and tone of voice that areseamless, from the instruction manuals to thereal-time chat in the support section of the onlinestore. The brand is driven throughout this wholeexperience, throughout every interaction.The difference between a brand and brandingMost experts define what a brand is in one of twoways. The first set of definitions focuses on someof the elements that make up a brand:• “The intangible sum of a product’s attributes:its name, packaging, and price, its history, itsreputation, and the way it’s advertised.”2• “A name, sign, or symbol used to identify itemsor services of the seller(s) and to differentiatethem from goods of competitors.”3The second set of definitions describes theassociations that come to mind when peoplethink about a brand:• “Products are made in the factory, but brandsare created in the mind.”4• “A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product,service, or company.… It’s a person’s gut feeling,because in the end the brand is defined byindividuals, not by companies, markets, or theso-called general public. Each person createshis or her own version of it.5What do we mean by “created in the mind”? Whenwe think of Coke, we may think of the time we wentto Disney World years ago. It was an incredibly hotday, and we drank an ice-cold Coke from the iconicglass Coke bottle and there was nothing morerefreshing. When we think about the can, we mightthink red. Today perhaps we think of American Idol(and wonder whether they are really drinking Cokein those plastic cups). We think of how thatChristmas polar bear ad made us smile. Those ofus who are old enough may remember the “I’d liketo teach the world to sing” commercial. Thesepersonal Coke brand associations are neitherpositive nor negative, they just come to mind.BusinessperformanceCustomerbehaviorBrandperceptionCustomerexperienceBrandidea 2 David Ogilvy, primary.co.uk/viewpoints (accessed12 May 2009). 3 Dictionary of Business and Management (OxfordUniversity Press, 2006). 4 Walter Landor, founder of Landor Associates. 5 Marty Neumeier, The Brand Gap: How to Bridge theDistance between Business Strategy and Design(AIGA New Riders, 2006).Figure 1: Brand Affects Business Performance
  • 3Landor AssociatesBut if a brand exists in an individual’s mind, and ifit is delivered by the business, what is the role ofbranding? Branding cannot control what peoplethink of a brand, it can only influence. A brand canput some of the elements in place that will helppeople understand why they should choose or prefera particular good, service, organization, or idea overanother. Branding and related marketing disciplinescan help influence and explain how many of theseassociations in our minds have been built, andwhether they were built through advertising, PR,employee behavior, supply chain management,and so on.Branding is about signals—the signals peopleuse to determine what you stand for as a brand.Signals create associations.—Allen Adamson, BrandSimple6The bulk of this chapter will explain the process thatdetermines the foundational signals of a brand: whata brand stands for (the brand idea); the attitude itprojects (the brand personality); its name and howit talks (the verbal identity); what it looks like (thevisual identity); and what it feels and sounds like(the sensory identity). Creating these foundationalsignals is the core business of a branding agency.Before foundational signals are created, however,a certain amount of groundwork needs to be doneto ensure that the best conditions for success arein place. The first two sections explain this essentialpreparation. The third describes the creation of thefoundational signals. The final sections focus onwhat to do next with these foundational signalsonce they have been created, looking at deliveryof the brand experience, managing the brand, andmeasuring the performance and value of brands. 6 Allen Adamson, BrandSimple: How the Best Brands KeepIt Simple and Succeed (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).
  • 4 Essentials of brandingStarting a branding project includes finding the rightreason, commitment, and strategy; analyzing brandequity; and uncovering insights and opportunities.Start with the right reasonTake care to get born well.—George Bernard Shaw, playwrightFundamentally, there are two reasons a businessneeds branding. Either a new product or companyhas been created or there is a desire to changean existing brand to better reflect new businessobjectives (most often called a “rebrand”). Theremust be a solid business reason to change, orrefresh, a brand and a brand idea. Without a solidbusiness objective and brand idea, the judging ofbrand change becomes purely subjective. Sufficeit to say, when you embark on a rebrand it is criticalto ensure that you are rebranding for the rightbusiness reason, and if there is a desire to altersome visual or verbal elements, a clearly definedbrand idea is essential for guiding this change.Start with the right commitmentIt is critical to have the right steering committeebefore starting a branding process. Because thebrand idea reflects what a company says it standsfor and its vision for the future, the CEO must be100 percent in agreement with it. And becausea brand is inextricably linked to the business, allbranding initiatives need to involve the businessleaders, not at every stage of managing the project,but at every stage that a significant decision needsto be made, particularly in the early stages whenthe brand idea and personality are being defined.The areas of the business that interact withthe target audience need to be represented on thebrand steering committee to ensure that the brandidea will be delivered. If this means that the steeringcommittee increases to more than eight to tenpeople, then “buy-in” stages are needed in theprocess to keep decision making manageablewhile ensuring that the areas of the businessresponsible for living up to the brand are committedto the process.Finally, experts in the field of branding will also beessential partners in the process. Branding agenciesare usually hired as partners and guides in theprocess, since they are in the business of helpingto create and manage this kind of change. Thebest agencies show strong strategic and creativethinking and output and have relevant expertise(not necessarily expertise in the same industryor product category, but experience in handlingsimilar problems for similarly sized organizationsand products, or with similar target audiences).The foundational signals of a brand need to lastat least a decade, and creating them is costly, soinvesting in the right advice is important at both themacro level (“How do we align our business withthe brand idea?”) and the micro level (“What shouldwe do about our printers to ensure the new brandcolor reproduces well around the world?”). Becausecreating a new brand or undertaking a rebrandrequires significant investment and signals change,there is really only one opportunity to do it; so itmust be done right.Starting a branding project
  • 5Landor Associatescustomers and employees need to be considered.But for both product and corporate brands, itis important to understand insights into theseaudiences to ensure that the brand idea resonates.What is the benefit to customers? A companyshould be able to articulate clearly, in a few words,the unique aspect that differentiates its productfrom the competition and provides a benefit toits customers. This is called the “unique sellingproposition,” the “dominant selling idea,” the“unique value proposition,” or the “universalguarantor of performance.”Start with the right focus: CustomersOne of the most important first steps in a brandingproject is to create a framework that identifiesand compares all possible interaction points wherea customer experiences the brand. This is oftencalled a “customer journey,” and the interactionsare sometimes referred to as “touchpoints.” Theseinteractions can be physical, such as in a supermar-ket, at an airline check-in desk, or in a showroom.They can be digital, such as through a downloadfrom a company website or on social media siteslike Twitter or YouTube. Interactions can be analog,such as on the phone, via advertising on TV, orthrough promotional events.The important thing is to create the frameworkfrom the customers’ point of view and not simplycompile a list of all things currently being executedto build the brand. Doing only the latter will not helpyou discover a new interaction that could betterconnect the customer to your brand. Creating thefull framework, however, will foster understandingof where you are delivering the brand promise,Start with the right business strategyGood branding cannot save a poor productor business. In fact, the desire to rebrand cansometimes mask a fundamental business problemand can distract managers from actually addressingit. Before you brand anything, it is important to havea strong, clear answer to three simple questions:(1) What are we selling? (2) Who is it intended for?and (3) What is the benefit to customers?What are we selling? In a very practical sense,selling involves making tough decisions aboutthe market you are in, such as Intel’s decision toabandon manufacturing computer memory chipsand focus on microprocessors. Or it can be aboutdeciding how you intend to describe the productor service being offered. In Welcome to the CreativeAge, Mark Earls tells the story of working for Clarks,one of the leading shoe companies in the UnitedKingdom, and spending time in focus groups. Hisagency hit on an idea that resonated well: nota reexpression of the brand but a reevaluation ofwhat Clarks was selling. Clarks had defined thebusiness of selling shoes as a “replacementbusiness”—replacing shoes that were worn out.The new model was about selling pleasure—buying new shoes that give you a lift.Who is it intended for? The more specific andtargeted the answer to this question, the better.For example, rather than focusing on “moms,”target “moms who put their careers on hold andare now back in the workforce trying to juggle careeradvancement with guilt about not having the timeor energy to puree homemade baby food everyevening.” For corporate brands, it is more difficultto focus on a single audience; at a minimum, bothThe foundational signalsof a brand need to lastat least a decade.
  • 6 Essentials of brandingFor the redesign of the Gatorade packaging in 2002,PepsiCo and Landor conducted equity researchwith customers who were asked to draw the bottle.This was a simple exercise, but one that resulted ina marked consistency of output. The lightning boltseemed to be the most important and distinctivedesign element associated with the brand; it wasrecalled and drawn many times, and consumersassociated it with a “spark of energy.” Otheraspects (orange cap, brand colors, bottle shape)also had strong recall, but did not evoke the sameemotional responses.But equity is not simply about awareness—it isalso about relevance. The reason that Gatoradeincreasingly focused on the bolt in subsequentpackage designs and other marketing communica-tions was not simply because people recalled it,but because they associated it with the differenceGatorade made to their athletic performance.In 2009, however, facing increasing pressure fromCoke’s VitaminWater and other competitors likePowerade, PepsiCo instituted a dramatic redesignfor Gatorade that minimized the bolt and empha-sized a collegiate-looking serif-type letter G asthe prominent label graphic. Apparently, PepsiComade this decision without conducting extensivepackaging research and, at this writing, the resultsat point of sale have been mixed. It will be interest-ing to see whether this dramatic rebranding helpsturn the brand’s fortunes around.Consider also the spate of brands such as Atariand Mini that have recently returned from the deadto take up residence at retail once more. Part ofa phenomenon dubbed “dormandize” by consumertrend spotters at trendwatching.com, these brandswhere you are failing to keep it, where you need toinnovate to improve the experience, and where youshould spend your marketing dollars to generate themost impact.Analyze the brand’s equityWhen a rebrand is undertaken, or if a new brand hasanother brand attached to it (for example, througha parent brand endorsement), it is important tounderstand where current brand equity lies to avoidinadvertently losing key elements that are activelybuilding consumer recognition and relevant brandassociations. To be clear, we are not talking aboutthe broadest definition of “equity”—the accumu-lated value of a company’s brand assets, bothfinancially and strategically, which comprisesthe overall market strength of a brand. Rather, weare talking about the equity inherent in the brandsignals to help answer questions such as “Shouldwe keep the logo?” “Should the brand still be red?”“Should we continue to use the same brandline?”When embarking on a rebrand, provided it is notoccurring for a predominantly negative reason,you will often hear people within a company speakabout the strong equity inherent in the current brandsignals. “We can’t get rid of the tagline. We’ve hadit for five years. It has a lot of equity.” “People lovethe logo. It’s who we are. You can’t change that.”“Don’t get rid of ‘green.’ It’s a core brand color.”Employees are likely to have some emotionalattachment to certain brand signals. But often,impartial brand equity research must be conductedto truly understand where real equity lies andwhether it remains relevant moving forward.Equity research conducted for Gatoradefound that the lightning bolt (depicted hereon bottles circa 2002–05) was the mostdistinctive element of its brand.
  • 7Landor AssociatesUncover insights and identify opportunitiesFrom an agency’s point of view, the process ofcreating a new brand or a rebrand usually startswith a “situation analysis,” often called an “audit,”or what Scott Bedbury calls a “big dig.”8Even in thecreation of a new brand you are never starting witha completely clean slate. This big dig can be as smallor as large as you want to make it, and there arevarious models and ways to structure it. It ofteninvolves consumer and/or customer research,whether primary or secondary.The most important thing to keep in mind abouta situation analysis, however, is that the ultimatepurpose is not to gather information. Its purpose isto assemble insights about customers, the category,competitors, or the brand itself in order to identifyan opportunity that will shape the brand idea.What is an insight? Professor Mohanbir Sawhneydescribes it as “a not yet obvious understandingthat can be the basis of a competitive advantage.”9Insights can be about a business, brand, category,or customer. These insights come from interpretinginformation available in a creative and analyticalway, often using a framework, model, or map.And opportunities are usually identified througha combination of insights that connect multipleareas such as competition; category; customers;product or organization; heritage, ambition, andstories; and brand architecture.hope to capitalize on residual brand equity toleapfrog competitors. Of course these revivedbrands get a head start on awareness, but withbrands such as Atari, much more work needed tobe done to bring the brand out of eight-bit graphicsand give it relevance in the world of PlayStation andXbox. As Steven Mallas wrote, “Atari’s brand equitydoesn’t have that differentiated, maverick feel ofyesteryear when it was always associated with thecutting edge of video game technology and wasworshipped by hardcore players at the forefrontof the video game revolution. Nowadays, it is anall-purpose distributor that finds intense competitionin the likes of Electronic Arts and Activision.”7Atari’sfiscal losses ($38.6 million in 2004, a significantreversal of $17.4 million profit in 2003) seem to affirmthe point. Just because people recognize a branddoes not mean they have positive impressions aboutit or that they will purchase it.Overemphasizing recognition in the brand equityequation is a quick way to get an immenselydistorted picture of a brand’s value. Ultimately,it can have the effect of making a company thinkthat everything is so good there is no need tochange anything. Yet if people know about thebrand, but it does not reflect what you want it tostand for in their minds, then it is not relevant tokeep. GE walked away from the ubiquitous tagline“We bring good things to life” because it no longerencapsulated what it stood for as a business.A rebrand is a marker of change. It should beundertaken for a business reason. 7 Steven Mallas, “Atari’s Challenging Level,” The Motley Fool(7 May 2004). 8 Scott Bedbury with Stephen Fenichell, A New Brand World:Eight Principles for Achieving Brand Leadership in theTwenty-First Century (Penguin Putnam, 2002). 9 Mohanbir Sawhney, “Insights into Customer Insights,”Defying the Limits, vol. 5, 6 (October 2004),defyingthelimits.com (accessed 23 March 2006).The Xbox 360, with its integrated onlinegaming and multimedia capabilities,completely sold out when it was releasedin 2005.
  • 8 Essentials of brandingThe more visionary this idea, the more it can inspirethe people who are tasked to deliver it. And themore relevant and differentiated it is, the better theoutcome. This idea of having a noble purpose aboveand beyond the commercial or product equationseems to be gaining more traction in the Internetage. Consider Dove’s Campaign for real beauty, orIkea’s purpose being defined as Creating a bettereveryday life for the many. Brands that claim a higherpurpose in their brand ideas, and those that do itearlier than their competitors may connect betterwith consumers in the long run.However, the limits of differentiation are importantto note. The brand idea does not have to be, noris it likely to be, different from any other idea thathas ever been expressed by a brand before.Difference is a relative term and is proportionalto a brand’s competition: other brands the targetaudience might choose instead of yours. Forexample, if the proposed brand idea for a child’snew toy is “stimulating imagination,” this shouldnot be disregarded because GE also stands for“imagination at work.” The child or parent is notgoing to be making a choice between the toyand a GE steam-assisted gravity drainageproduced water evaporator.Similarly, you want the brand idea to be ownable;not in the sense of patenting the idea or the words,but rather in the sense of delivering the idea,relentlessly and with commitment. This way, theidea becomes so well associated with a given brandthat any competitor would be foolish to invest timeand money claiming it stands for the same thing.Creating the brand signals includes definingthe brand idea, brand architecture, and brandpersonality, and producing the creative brief.Defining the brand ideaA good situation analysis leads to insights andidentifies areas of opportunity for a brand, buta stake must then be placed in the ground todefine the brand idea: what you want the brandto stand for. There is no magic formula or modelfor this. It takes smart people, clarity, and creativityof thought, debate, and sometimes more researchto determine the right brand idea.The most important thing about your brand ideais that it is differentiated from the competition andrelevant to your target audience. It is essential togive the target audience a reason to choose yourbrand over all others. If there is nothing differentabout your brand, there is no reason to purchaseit; if you are different but that difference is notimportant or meaningful to consumers, it is equallyunlikely your brand will be purchased.Creating the brand idea also requires a leap offaith to articulate something that captures the goodabout the present state of the brand, and, moreimportantly, a vision for its future. Mark Earls talksabout the brand idea having to create “a longer-termtrajectory for your business and your working life.It is rooted in a dream of the world as it should be.A dream that you feel and believe in with your wholebeing, rather than the small part of yourself thatbusiness normally connects with.”10The brand strategy 10 Mark Earls, Welcome to the Creative Age: Bananas,Business, and the Death of Marketing (John Wiley &Sons, 2002).
  • 9Landor Associatesbrand idea is not clear, then all elements emanatingfrom it will be even weaker. Content will be spunoff (PR messages, ad copy, websites, leadershipspeeches, recruitment specs, blogs), and withouta clear idea to link back to, the brand will quicklybecome disparate, hard to manage, and notassociated with anything distinct in the consumer’smind. The brand idea acts as a strategic filter forthe future; it is a waste of time to fill in models orcraft mission statements without spending timeclarifying the brand idea first.Defining the brand architectureOne component of developing a brand strategyrequires establishing a clear structure and relation-ship among brands in a portfolio. This process isusually called “brand architecture.” Fundamentally,brand architecture is about deciding what youwant to show as your face to the market and howto present your goods and services to your targetaudience. Many models and a great deal ofmarketing terminology are used to describedifferent approaches to brand architecture.But all fall somewhere among three strategies:Many models can be used to help encapsulatethe brand idea. Consumer goods companies withlarge marketing departments usually have theirown models; branding agencies have theirs.Companies often want to incorporate a visionstatement, mission statement, and sometimesadd a brand positioning statement.The most valuable piece of any of these models isgetting to a short, memorable phrase that encapsu-lates the core of what the brand is about. This is nota brandline or tagline, although it could become one.Rather, the brand idea defines what the brand isabout at its most basic level. For example:• BP is about going beyond.• GE is about imagination at work.• Nike is about authentic athletic performance.• eBay aspires to be the global online marketplace.• Ikea seeks to create a better everyday life forthe many.These simple articulations can be fleshed out intoa paragraph, a positioning statement, a missionstatement, or a vision statement, but if the coreP&G’s brand architecture employsa multibrand strategy, managingits many global brands withouta parent endorsement.
  • 10 Essentials of brandingwill good brand architecture reflect the strategicvision of the firm, but it should also improvefinancial performance by helping organizationsdirect resources to the best bets for future growthby minimizing redundancy among brands andcutting underperforming brands.Brand architecture should not just rationalize anexisting portfolio and stretch the remaining brandsinto new areas, as tempting as that may be. It isimportant to be careful with assumptions about howfar current brands can stretch to cover future growthareas by understanding what each brand stands forin customers’ minds. For example, when Polaroidbegan selling conventional camera film under thePolaroid label, this brand extension did not workbecause in the minds of consumers Polaroid stoodfor instant photography, not generic photography.The consumer’s idea of Polaroid would not stretchenough to accommodate the new meaning.In contrast, because Virgin stands for somethingso broad (essentially the idea of challengingconvention), and because Virgin delivers itspromise so relentlessly, the company has extendedsuccessfully into categories as diverse as financialservices, mobile phones, airlines, beauty products,beverages, and space travel.Although a very rational and analytical process,brand architecture often becomes an emotionaltopic for a company because it is mistaken for anattempt to change the organizational structure.For example, when a company decides not to createa subbrand for a business unit and instead uses themaster brand (for example, going to market as“Deloitte” rather than as “Deloitte Tax”), employees1. A monobrand strategy (sometimes calleda “branded house”), in which one brand isapplied across everything. Examples are GE,Virgin, and IBM.2. An endorsed or subbrand strategy, in whichthe organization owns a variety of brands thatinclude the parent name in some way. Examplesare Nestlé, Cadbury, and Marriott.3. A multibrand strategy (or house of brands), inwhich a company uses many different brandswith no parent endorsement. Examples areProcter & Gamble (P&G), Diageo, andGlaxoSmithKline (GSK).Almost all brands, particularly those that have beenaround for a while and have gone through variousmergers and acquisitions, sit somewhere in themessy, real-life middle with a hybrid strategy. Forexample, Starwood Hotels has a Sheraton brandthat itself endorses Four Points by Sheraton. It ownsstandalone hotel brands, such as W Hotels, Westin,and St. Regis, and yet shows its face to the marketas Starwood in its loyalty program that spans all itshotels. Toyota endorses the Prius, Corolla, Tacoma,and RAV4 brands (along with others) but not itsluxury brand, the Lexus.As these examples show, determining the bestportfolio strategy is often difficult and rife withtradeoffs. It is important to remember that brandarchitecture is not about internal organizationalstructure. Well-designed architecture will beconsumer-oriented and help customers makechoices between one product or brand and another.It will use the minimum number of brands to coverthe maximum number of market opportunities,while clearly differentiating among brands. Not onlySuperiorLeadingPace settingNumber oneWorld classTrustedInnovativeInspirationalCreativePassionateCustomer-focusedFigure 2: Popular Branding WordsEnhanceImproveGrowSuccessPerformanceProgressQualityValuePeaceHarmonyCompany description Purpose
  • 11Landor Associates 11 Christopher Booker, The Seven Basic Plots: Why We TellStories (Continuum, 2006). 12 Rohit Bhargava, Personality Not Included: Why CompaniesLose Their Authenticity and How Great Brands Get It Back(McGraw-Hill, 2008).or long lasting enough to build a brand around,and that benefit areas are not infinite in number,defining the personality and expressing it acrossall interactions with customers is an importantway to differentiate a brand and build relevancewith customers. But a discussion around brandpersonality can be a difficult one to have in aboardroom. Brand personality is usually seen asan accepted part of what helps to differentiatea smoothie or chips brand. But a financial institu-tion? A petroleum company? A parcel delivery firm?Not so acceptable. Yet often it is these types ofcompanies that could benefit most by appearingmore human.Bhargava describes personality as “the unique,authentic, and talkable soul of your brand thatpeople can get passionate about.”12Definingcompany values is often the way large corporationstry to articulate this. But when working on thecreation of a brand idea, agencies are often told:“Don’t touch the values.” This may be because theclient has already gone through a huge programinternally to define them (or, just as likely, a groupof senior executives crafted a values statementin a board meeting years ago) or the values havebeen in place since the founding of the firm andare an inextricable piece of “who we are.” But whenwe look at values across an industry they are oftenremarkably similar. Consider the big four accoun-tancy firms: If we take out integrity, respect,collaboration, and leadership (since at least threeof the big four share these values, which do nothingto help differentiate the firms), we are left withvery little: some energy and enthusiasm fromErnst & Young; seeking facts and providing insightfrom KPMG; and getting strength from culturalcan feel that their role is being downplayed, or evenin jeopardy. Such strategic decisions must thereforebe carefully and clearly managed to help employeesunderstand that brand architecture is not aboutrestructuring the internal organizational chart (whichaddresses optimizing delivery and costs), but ratherabout the company’s face to its markets (whichconcerns maximizing revenue). One is not a mirrorimage of the other.Defining the brand personalityMany brand strategists may be uncomfortable withthe following statement: “There are not an infinitenumber of brand ideas in the world, and manybrands occupy very similar territories.” If you lookacross the list of global Fortune 500 companies,the statements about what the organizations standfor generally use some combination of words similarto those in figure 2.We need not be downhearted by this. If, asChristopher Booker says, there are only “sevenstories in the world,”11yet tens of millions of books,films, and plays tell these stories differently, theopportunity for relevant differentiation remainsstrong. BP and Toyota both focus their ideas ona sense of progress. However, nobody would saythese brands are the same. One way they differ isthrough personality, and defining this is the nextimportant element in building a brand.The premise behind Rohit Bhargava’s bookPersonality Not Included illustrates how critical itis for companies to move beyond being facelessorganizations and express authentic personalitiesin order to thrive in the social media era. Given thatfunctional attributes and benefits are not uniqueThe yellow beam of the Ernst & Youngidentity symbolizes a brand personalitythat is dynamic, optimistic, and alwaysstriving forward.
  • 12 Essentials of brandingpart of managing expectations when it comes toreviewing work. Client sign-off should help to guidediscussions around the work at every stage.Along with the brief, the meeting itself is veryimportant. This is often the first time a creativeteam will come into contact with a business orproduct and its challenges. It pays to take timeto inspire and educate team members and involvethem in discussions about the business challengesand the brand idea. Most brand signals need to lastat least a decade, so bringing the team charged withcreating them into the process early, and agreeingon the brief together rather than simply handing itto the agency team, will provide the best, mostengaged start.diversity from Deloitte. Not exactly the foundationsof a brand personality to get passionate about.One way of building internal passion for brandsis through the creation of stories. For example,James Dyson’s inventiveness and tenaciousnessare hallmarks of the Dyson brand personality.When BP defined its Beyond Petroleum strategy,one of the first activities it undertook was to conducthundreds of interviews with employees within theorganization to get at these stories. The output wassomething called the “BP scroll” that was literallyrolled out in a board meeting to help demonstratethat the audacious brand idea and personalitybeing proposed for the brand had roots in thepassion and actions of employees. Along withthe brand idea of going beyond, BP has fourvalues—performance, progressive, innovation,and green—and people inside the company trulyembrace them; they can be expressed authenticallyin communications.Producing the creative briefOnce a brand idea and personality are in place,the core visual and verbal symbols can be developed.They are usually encapsulated in a “creative brief,”literally a short document that a creative teamwill work from as it designs and generates names,brandlines, and visual and sensory identities. A goodbrief is succinct (often only one page), uses wordsand pictures to help stimulate creativity, and hasthe brand idea and personality at its core. It alsoreflects learning about competitors and marketcategories from the situation analysis (for example,by including a section with things to avoid suchas a color that a competitor uses consistently).Obtaining client sign-off on the brief is a criticalOne way of buildinginternal passion forbrands is through thecreation of stories.
  • 13Landor Associates• Be ownable and protectable as a trademark inall countries in which you want to operate• Have an available domain nameThis criteria is often given to an agency before itbegins to generate names. But how many brandnames can you think of that actually live up to allthis criteria? Coke? BlackBerry? Facebook? Audi?Google? CNN? Target?Name creation is an incredibly difficult business.It demands an immense amount of creativity,coupled with a heavy dose of practicality sincemost of the names created will not be legallyavailable. In fact, almost 90 percent of namescreated will have to be rejected due to copyrightconsiderations. And this is the most importantthing to understand: A name is only one small partof a brand. Its power to build positive associationsis limited when it is viewed in isolation. It only reallygains meaning over time and in combination withall other brand signals.Some brands create more than a name. They createa naming device that allows them to link a series ofproducts together under a similar naming conven-tion. The iMac spawned the iPod, iPhone, and iTunes.The iPod spawned the podcast. People tweet onTwitter and use devices such as Power Twitter toimprove their brand experience. A good name willlikely meet some of the criteria above, though notall; fortunately, there are many other brand signalsto work with to help build a more complete pictureof what you want your brand to stand for. It ismost critical to make sure that the name is legallyprotected and that due diligence has been applied tocheck for negative connotations in other languages.Creating the brand experience involves craftingthe verbal identity, designing the visual andsensory identities, and testing the verbal andvisual identities.Crafting the verbal identityNaming A new brand needs a name whereasa rebrand rarely has a name change. Indeed,changing a name signals that something significanthas happened in the business, through forcedcircumstances, through a merger and acquisition,or through a negative event. A company thatchanges its name is expected to change the wayit does business, too, so a name change shouldnever be undertaken lightly.Names can take many forms. They can be acronyms:IBM, BP, NBC. They can take the form of existingwords or phrases: Shell, Apple, Twitter. They canbe names constructed from other words: Spudulike,Kwik Save, Accenture. They can be coined: Avensis,Aventis, Avertis. And they can derive from the namesof specific people or families: Ferrari, Hershey,Mercedes-Benz. See figure 3 for more examples.Ideally, a name should be the pure encapsulation ofthe brand idea and, along with this audacious goal,should meet other key criteria:• Be easy to pronounce in every language• Be memorable (being brief also helps)• Help people understand what the businessis about• Be able to stretch into other categories and areasin the future• Have no negative connotations in other languagesCreating thebrand experience
  • 14 Essentials of branding 13 T.L. Stanley, “Taglines Lose Their Starring Role in Ads”(26 November 2007) brandweek.com/bw/esearch/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003677226(accessed 12 May 2009).what the firm wants to be about as a brand—going beyond. GE’s Imagination at work capturesthe driving mission of the company. The brandoverhaul of Citroën saw an end to the tagline Justimagine what Citroën can do for you and replaced itwith a brandline that captures its business strategy:Créative technologie.Creating a brandline presents many of the samechallenges as creating a name (for example, itneeds to be legally protectable and often needsto work in different countries), which may be whyso many brands eschew a brandline altogether.Other brands seem to feel that a brandline ismandatory but create something that does notwork hard enough to help to differentiate them.Look at PwC’s competitors: KPMG locks up threewords with its logo: Audit. Tax. Advisory. It tellspeople what the firm does but nothing about whyit is different from its competitors (who are alreadyperceived as very similar). There is already verylittle differentiation in this category, and KPMG’sbrandline does nothing to help. Ernst & Youngis stuck with a legacy line from the immediatepost-Enron days, Quality in everything we do; surelya given for one of the most regulated industries inthe world. It focuses on an unspecific parity point(quality) with Ernst & Young’s competitors ratherthan something that differentiates the organization.Deloitte has chosen not to use one, which, accord-ing to Brandweek, is an increasing trend.13Perhapssome companies are finding that if you cannothave a good one (that is, one that focuses on yourdifferentiation and relevance), it is better not tohave one at all.Furthermore, prepare to develop a hard skin at thelaunch of your new name. The media like nothingmore than a name change they can react to, andtheir reaction is almost never positive. A nameonly becomes imbued with true meaning postlaunch.So as long as the homework has been completed upfront, it pays to be patient and focus on constructingall of the many other signals that will help to supportand give weight to this meaning.Brandline Because names can only do so much,brandlines are often developed in conjunctionwith the name to help signal what the brand standsfor. Brandlines are often called “taglines”; however,taglines suggest a sign-off at the bottom of a pieceof communication, and they can change as differentmarketing campaigns change. A brandline isdeveloped as a permanent brand element to beused across different channels, often everywherethe logo appears. For example, FedEx’s brandlineis The world on time. It appears consistently onFedEx trucks, planes, and packaging and has beenin place since 1995. Since then, however, FedExhas had many advertising campaigns that havefeatured different taglines, such as When itabsolutely, positively has to be there overnightand Relax, it’s FedEx.Taglines can change (they are tactical), butbrandlines remain the same unless a significantrebrand occurs. PricewaterhouseCoopers’brandline, Connected thinking, is at the heartof what the company says it stands for as anorganization. Beyond Petroleum works cleverly tochange associations with the name of the companyfrom British Petroleum to something that impliesName typesAbstractAssociativeDescriptiveRealAppleTwitterEggLucentOracleSprintBritish AirwaysAmerica OnlineComputer AssociatesCoinedGoogleKodakAvayaAgilentClaricaVisteonFedExMicrosoftWikipediaFigure 3: Names of Brands
  • 15Landor AssociatesAlthough we cannot predict what external,uncontrollable events might transpire during2003, we can forecast with considerablecertainty that our valorous, caring, nimble,good-hearted, and resilient people will ensurethat Southwest ends 2003 just the way it ended2002—at the forefront of our industry.—Southwest Airlines 2002 Annual ReportTo help an organization understand tone of voiceand its implications for business communications,a common step is to take some current pieces ofcommunication and rewrite them in the new tone.It is better to show than to tell, and focusing onhigh-profile, visible pieces of communicationhelps ensure that the new brand voice is noticed.Getting people to act on tone of voice is moredifficult, however.Designing the visual and sensory identitiesGreat design gives people the shorthand markersof identification and engagement with a product,service, or organization. It stops us in our tracksto think again about our usual choices. It helps usfind coffee, aids us in sending urgent documentsin an unfamiliar city, or can make us feel part ofa smarter or more stylish community. As we sit atthe neighborhood Starbucks, typing on a MacBook,wearing Uggs or Adidas, minding a baby asleep ina Bugaboo stroller, we may suddenly realize that allthese brands stand for something singular, that allof them have a personality, and that all of them usetheir visual and sensory identities to create powerfulassociations that we connect with.Tone of voice Tone of voice is another means ofconveying what a brand stands for. Tone of voiceis not messaging or writing; it is about how yousay things rather than what you say. For example,a brand’s voice can be friendly, informative, precise,grounded, real, honest, daring, playful, irreverent,emotional, or witty. The brand voice can expressthe personality of a friend or teacher, a geek orgamer, a leader or an advocate, a visionary ora knowledge seeker, a magician or an engineer.When tone of voice is consistent, it gives theconsumer another means of recognizing thebrand and its promise.When you consider how many people withina company use words to communicate with atarget audience on a daily basis, tone of voicewould appear to be an incredibly important partof branding. Yet, compared with the developmentof a visual identity, creating tone of voice is lesscommon. Whatever the reason, many brands donot have a consistent tone of voice, or their toneof voice is not considered when creating thefoundational signals for a brand. Even brandsthat have crafted a tone of voice often do verylittle to train people on how and where to use it,or to promote its use on an ongoing basis.A few brands are known for their tone of voice,and they deliver it consistently and memorably.For example, tone of voice helps differentiatemaverick brands such as Virgin, as well as staidbrands such as the BBC and the Economist.Southwest Airlines has a tone of voice that linksstrongly to its brand personality. The Southweststyle is fresh and immediate, expressing respectand warm regard for people in general:Good Co. Coffee’s brand voice uses clever,lighthearted parody to brighten the day ofthe overstressed corporate coffee drinker.
  • 16 Essentials of brandingbrand. It is notably progressive and innovative—no other petroleum brand had done anything likethe sunflower symbol at the time it was created—and it successfully represents BP’s brand idea ofgoing beyond to become an environmental leaderand a truly great company. Incorporating green,a heritage color for BP, the symbol captures thefeeling of pure energy, and its solar power initiativerepresented in the sunburst flame evokes broaderenvironmental meanings for BP’s future.Some logos add essential communication that ismissing from the name alone. For instance, a literalvisualization of the word “Amazon” would take youto rainforests or Greek mythology. But instead,Amazon.com’s logo helps suggest the range ofproducts available (the arrow points from a to z)and forms a smile to communicate a sense of thewelcoming, helpful, customer-friendly nature ofthe brand. The FedEx logo incorporates a hidden(negative space) arrow to subtly imply its speedand guarantee that packages will always get thereon time. Evoking a story within the brand symbolpresents not only a visual metaphor for the brand,but also a word-of-mouth communication campaign.Over the years, many people have recounted thestory of discovering the arrow in the FedEx logo asan amusing “aha” moment.While virtually no brand identity can conveyeverything about a product, service, or company,a logo must be evaluated on its ability to communi-cate at least one or two important concepts aboutthe brand. The brief should incorporate theseconcepts, guiding both the creative team and theclient in appraising the recommended designs.Logo There is something revered about the logo,and it is probably the first thing that comes to mindwhen we think about branding. It can mistakenly bewhere the desire to rebrand begins (“The new CEOdoesn’t like our logo”) and is often where emotionscan ride high in a branding project. It may have todo with the fact that the logo becomes personalon our business cards, or perhaps it has acquiredsuch hallowed status that its role in branding isoften overemphasized.A logo becomes a visual shorthand for the meaningspeople attach to a brand, but it is not the only strongvisual symbolism. As with a name, a logo will playup some aspects of the brand but will not be ableto communicate others. However, it is also oftenundervalued, and stories about logos being “drawnon a napkin over a pint” abound, suggesting thereis nothing difficult about their creation.Most logos (also called “brandmarks,” “brandidentities,” or “corporate identities”) are made upof several components: the wordmark (usually thename of the company), a symbol (a graphic deviceplaced within, adjacent to, or around the logo), andthe colors chosen to reflect the brand. Some logoscomprise only a wordmark (such as Kiehl’s, Virgin,Google, FedEx, IBM); a few use just a symbol (Nike,Apple, Prince); and others combine a symbol anda wordmark (The Body Shop, UBS, BP).Some of the most memorable logos communicatemyriad meanings, breaking new ground whilerespecting heritage. For example, the BP sunflowersymbol (officially called the Helios mark) is a highlyeffective encapsulation of the core values of theSome of the most memorable logoscommunicate multiple meanings. TheAmazon.com logo forms a smile andalso suggests an a to z product range.The FedEx logo incorporates an arrow,implying speed and precision.
  • 17Landor AssociatesThis kind of “open branding” is not appropriatefor all brands, but what these examples highlightis that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to logousage, and tools like animation, customization, andflexibility need to be considered along with colors,fonts, and symbols.Color Logos are not designed in black and white.The creation of a logo always introduces other coreaspects of the brand. For some brands, color isone of the most important associations they have:for example, the Tiffany robin’s-egg blue box, ING’sorange versus the blue and red of other financialinstitutions, and Coca-Cola’s red.There is much written about color theory and themeaning of color in different societies. While whiteis traditionally the color of death or mourning in Asia,yellow means caution in the United States, and redis the color the eye is drawn to most—differingmeanings of color should not be the overridingreason to either choose or discount these colorsfor a given brand. It is more important to go backto the brand idea and personality, and the situationanalysis, to ensure that a color palette is chosenthat first and foremost differentiates the brand fromthe competition and is relevant to what it is tryingto stand for. Without doing this, designers face theinevitable risk of designing a logo and then beingasked, “Can we just see it in red/blue/yellow/pink/aqua?” This exercise should rarely be necessary. Ifyou plot your competitors on a color wheel and areclear about how color theory relates to your brandidea, the choice of colors will be limited.Logos were once designed as purely static,two-dimensional devices with strict rules aroundusage that no one could distort or change in anyway, on any application. This is still the case inmany instances, but there are some logos that aredesigned to be more fluid. This trend started withthe MTV logo in 1981, but it can also be seen withbrands such as Google, which creates new designswithin its wordmark and encourages its audiencesto engage in the practice as well. The RED logobuilds the brand by associations with others(iPod, Bono) and was created to work with brandsas diverse as Dell, American Express, Gap, Hallmark,Converse, and Emporio Armani.The Olympic 2012 logo created a negative mediafrenzy when launched in the United Kingdom. Itspurpose was to be used in conjunction with otherbrands, allowing partners to adapt the logo to theirown brand colors. But even this flexibility did notgo far enough for some who felt that the logo hadbeen “foisted on” the United Kingdom withoutproperly involving members of the communityit would represent.By contrast, in creating the branding for Worldeka(a social-networking platform that brings togethercitizens who aim to change the world), Landorprovided some brand structure—including thesimplification of Worldeka to WE, the key insightthat encapsulates the brand’s collective voice—but decided along with the client to let the onlinecommunity own the logo and the brandline. Thisencouraged a multitude of design executions thatexpanded the visual and verbal language (such asallowing various interpretations of WE: Wrestling Evil,Working Effectively, or World Engaged).The Worldeka identity system encouragesmyriad design executions.
  • 18 Essentials of brandingto long and extensive awareness-building efforts(and expenditures) while technically having little,if anything, to do with the original brand idea orpersonality of MetLife. Rather, Snoopy’s relationshipto MetLife began as an advertising idea, intendedto add warmth and borrowed interest to anotherwise somber and impersonal industry.Packaging A package may have only half asecond to engage with a consumer, yet it hasa laundry list of functions to fulfill. For example,the structure needs to respect shelf space,sustainability, and safety considerations; thegraphics need to include legal information suchas weight, nutritional facts, and bar codes, alongwith names (parent brand, subbrand, flavor names,unique ingredient names), illustrations, photography,icons, logos, and the list goes on. Great packagedesign manages to serve the brand first andforemost, while working within the mandatorylimits of legal and structural constraints.It is important to understand what the brand ideaand personality are and project these associationsonto the packaging. Innocent smoothies are amuch-cited case of packaging success in theUnited Kingdom. Every aspect of Innocent packaginggets across its brand, from tone of voice and copy,to its recycling efforts, to its name and logo design.Moreover, Innocent packaging does not followcategory conventions. Its labels do not showphotographs or illustrations of cranberries orraspberries—these images are not a meansof differentiation. Breaking traditional categoryconventions is a simple way to stand apart, butfew brands have the courage to do it.Look and feel, or “house style” Other graphicelements that make up the visual identity can helpcreate something that becomes differentiated andcommunicates the right associations about thebrand. Some agencies call this collection ofelements the “look and feel,” others the “housestyle.” They consist of the color palette (main andsupporting colors), fonts, photography, imagerystyle, and any other graphic element.A successful rebrand can occur without evertouching the logo, name, or brandline. Ernst &Young’s rebrand is a case in point. Its brand ideais about achieving potential, implying a personalitythat is dynamic, optimistic, and always strivingto move forward. The yellow beam powerfullytranslates this brand idea and personality intoa graphic element that allows an organizationof more than 130,000 people to create diversecommunications that nonetheless look and feellike they came from one brand—Ernst & Young.Absolut used a graphic element derived from itsunique bottle shape as a symbol that became farmore important than the actual logo in identifyingits brand. Target’s use of the bull’s-eye makes itscommunications so distinctive that the name Targetis unnecessary. These graphic elements are all partof a visual toolbox that help these brands becomedifferentiated and memorable.Occasionally, however, the use of another graphicelement can detract from your brand idea. Snoopy,although now associated with MetLife insurance,is an icon created independently of this organizationand one also used by other, albeit nonfinancialproducts. Yet the Peanuts canine character hasbecome virtually synonymous with MetLife owingCrest Vivid White differentiates its whiteningtoothpaste by using the visual cues of thecosmetics category to position it as partof a beauty regimen.
  • 19Landor Associates 14 Mary Zalla, “Creating Great Design Takes Guts: Daring toBe Different Can Give Instant Boost to Market Share,”Package Design (April 2009). 15 Martin Lindstrom, “Smashing Your Brand,”martinlindstrom.com/pdf/articles/Smashing%20your%20brand.pdf (accessed 12 May 2009).temperatures have reduced cleaning power. Theidea was to make the promotion the actual packdesign. The “Turn to 30°C” message is reinforcedvisually by placing the Ariel logo on a washingmachine dial that mirrors the act of physicallyturning the dial down. This concept maintainsAriel brand equities while pushing the boundariesof promotional packaging. Following the launch,Ariel became the market leader.As noted, package design is connected to bothgraphics and structure. Branding has usually beenreserved for the former, while packaging structureand materials are often unfortunately designedbefore the brand idea and personality have beendefined. A missed opportunity, but one some iconicbrands have fully grasped. Martin Lindstrom callsthis the “smash your brand” principle, explaining,“Nearly a century ago, when the first-ever Coca-Colabottle was in the planning stages, the designerreceived his marching orders. Company executiveswanted him to develop a bottle so distinctive that ifyou smashed it against a wall, you would still be ableto recognize the pieces as part of a Coke bottle. Thedesigner obviously lived up to the requirement, andto this day it works.”15But how many brands couldyou smash today and still identify—Coke, HeinzTomato Ketchup, Marmite in the United Kingdom,Gatorade, Absolut? And then it gets harder.The deliberate use of structure to build branddifferentiation varies even within product categories.Perrier, Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, and other drinkbrands use bottle shape as a distinctive brandelement, while graphics in the canned-drinksmarket are generally the only differentiator. Inanother sector, Ferrero Rocher chocolates’ goldAnother way of differentiating packaging is bytaking cues from innovation and design in othercategories. When Landor designed the packagingfor Crest Vivid White toothpaste, it took inspirationfrom the cosmetic category. The package’s verticalorientation, sans serif font, embossing, and cleanside panel clearly define a cosmetic product,appealing to consumers who consider oral carepart of their beauty regimen. But the design speaksjust as loudly to consumers more focused on healthcare. In the first three months following its launch,Crest Vivid White exceeded sales forecasts by nearly300 percent, and Vivid White was the top-sellingoral care item in Target stores in the United Statesduring the first quarter of 2006. According to MaryZalla, managing director of both the Cincinnati andChicago offices of Landor Associates, “Just becauseno company had ever designed a cosmetic-lookingoral care package didn’t mean it should never bedone. What has been done will only get you so far.Great design is about what can be done.”14Packaging is usually created before all othermarketing communications, which may be why,when there is something new to say, a brandingviolator is added to the front of a pack to link it toa current promotion or ad campaign. Why not usethe pack more creatively to link better to these otherbrand associations that consumers are picking upelsewhere? When U.K. laundry detergent brandAriel launched Ariel Cool Clean, it was the secondin a series of innovative brand-led approaches toon-pack promotion. The goal was to advocateAriel’s effectiveness at 30°C and its inherentenergy cost savings to consumers by washingat a lower temperature. One of Ariel Cool Clean’schallenges was to overcome perceptions that lowerAriel Cool Clean detergent turned its packinto a promotion by depicting the physicalact of turning the dial down to 30°C.
  • 20 Essentials of branding 16 Linda Tischler, “Smells Like Brand Spirit,” Fast Company(19 December 2007). 17 Reena Amos Dyes, “Brands Target Sense of Smell,”Emirates Business 24/7 (20 June 2008). 18 See note 17.10,000 odors. According to the Sense of SmellInstitute, 75 percent of all emotions we generateare due to what we smell.16Some brands are synonymous with a smell.Johnson’s has become the baby smell. The smellof Crayola crayons is instantly recognizable and cantake most of us on a nostalgic trip back to childhood.In fact, Crayola’s smell is ranked 18 among the20 most recognizable smells in the United States.Kentucky Fried Chicken now regards its signaturearoma as one of its key “brand ambassadors.”17Scent branding is a relatively new field, but moreand more companies are realizing the power ofscent to build brand experiences. In 2003, about$30 million was spent on aroma marketing aroundthe world; in 2010, that figure is set to reach$220 million.18Some brands, such as Victoria’s Secret andStarbucks, have used scents to connect with theirconsumers for years. Singapore Airlines, whichregularly achieves top ranking as the world’s mostpreferred airline, incorporates the Stefan FloridianWaters scent in perfume worn by its flight atten-dants, on hot towels, and in numerous otherelements of service.Besides food, fashion retailers, and the occasionalairline, scent has been underused as a brandingsymbol. Things are changing, however: Breathein Westin Hotels’ white tea signature fragrance orthe mandarin orange and vanilla scent in the SonyStyle stores. Furthermore, scent branding does notneed to be limited to a retail, service, or productexperience. Most corporations have office spaceswrapping and clear container are essential partsof the brand experience, while a low-cost chocolateproduct’s propylene flow wrap is designed purelyto grab attention at the point of sale. Apple is expertat designing packaging that engages us even afterwe have penetrated the first layer, as anyone whohas opened an iPod Nano box will attest.Great package design will only become moreimportant as differentiation on-shelf gets harder.Couple this with the increasing consumer interestin ecofriendly options and better functionality,and the stakes rise dramatically. In the 2008ImagePower® Green Brands Survey, one of themost notable trends that surfaced is the attentionconsumers are giving to sustainable packaging.In 2008, Amazon launched a Frustration-FreePackaging initiative to make it easier for customersto liberate products from their packages, focusingon two kinds of items: those enclosed in hard plasticcases known as “clamshells” (said to cause “wraprage,” as anyone who has tried to open one willattest), and those secured with plastic-coated wireties, commonly used in toy packaging. These typesof packaging pose a challenge for brick-and-mortarretailers attempting to prevent incidents of theft.Green and frustration-free are two other aspectsto juggle in the development of future packagingthat can create positive brand associations.Smell Smell is one of the most powerful senses.Memories, imagination, old sentiments, andassociations are more readily reached throughthe sense of smell than through any other channel.In humans there are four genes for vision, whereasthere are 1,000 allocated to scent, which meanswe have the ability to differentiate more thanThe ImagePower Green Brands Surveyis conducted annually by Landor and WPPpartners to gauge consumer perceptionsof the “green market” around the world.The Greenest Brands in 2008 u.s. u.k. 1 Whole Foods The Body Shop 2 Burt’s Bees Marks & Spencer 3 Trader Joe’s Waitrose 4 Tom’s of Maine Tesco and Sainsbury’s (tie) 5 Toyota ASDA 6 Seventh Generation Dove and Google (tie) 7 Honda and GE (tie) The Co-operative Bank 8 Whirlpool e-on 9 Aveda Morrisons 10 Method Toyota and Nivea (tie)
  • 21Landor Associates 19 See note 16.associations (United Airlines uses Gershwin’sRhapsody in Blue). These identifying sounds havebeen a prominent signal of brand experience sincethe invention of radio (such as the NBC chimes), butin today’s cluttered, multimedium, audiovisual, andonline world, sonic branding has evolved into anincreasingly serious business.Originally used as a one-off piece of music fora British Airways ad, Leó Delibes’ “The Flower Duet”from the opera Lakmé became so connected to itsbrand that when the airline dropped the music in2000, it received such a volume of complaints thatit was reinstated. Today British Airways nurtures itsaccidental sonic brand: even Dave Stewart fromthe Eurythmics has worked on one of the manyBritish Airways–commissioned versions of the song.However, trying to appropriate a famous song foryour brand, rather than composing somethingoriginal, is costly and often unsuccessful. In Francesome years ago, a David Bowie song was used todramatize the Vittel brand. After a few months,consumers remembered David Bowie but forgotVittel. In essence, Vittel was asking consumers toremember two brands, David Bowie and Vittel, butthe connection was strictly promotional and thestronger brand dominated recall.and lobbies into which prospective clients walk,and where events, meetings, and interviews areheld. The effective use of a positive scent couldhave a potentially dramatic impact on employeesand customers alike.Choosing the right scent for your brand should linkback to the brand idea and personality attributes.Alex Moskvin, director of BrandEmotions atInternational Flavors & Fragrances, says he studiesthe DNA of the brand and its relationship toconsumers to figure out what resonates olfactorily.In designing a hotel fragrance, for example, Moskvinwants to know if the chain is trying to stand forfamily-friendly hostelry (think chocolate chipcookies) or a haute couture Zen-like retreat (thinksandalwood or hinoki). “We want to capture a smellthat makes people feel part of the club,” he says.19Sound Sonic brand identity, like its visual counter-part, has many components. Sound can be usedas an identifier of a brand, the equivalent of a soniclogo (like the Intel chime, McDonald’s “I’m lovin’ it,”Nokia’s ring tone, or Yahoo’s yodel), or on the deviceitself to accompany certain actions (such as thealways-welcome sound of Microsoft Windows andApple operating systems booting up). A longer pieceof music can also be used to create positive brandKFC regards its signature aroma as a corebrand equity.
  • 22 Essentials of branding• Research should be designed to informyour decisions. Do not aim to pick winners andlosers from brand signal research. Use it insteadto understand attributes people associate withthe signals and assess how well they match whatyou intend to communicate in your brand ideaand personality. Do not expect every signal tocommunicate everything equally well. Understandstrengths and weaknesses and make decisionswith the whole picture in mind.• Think laterally and metaphorically. Our brainsare programmed this way. Use images, metaphors,and cross-category analogies to help consumershelp you. If you want to communicate a sense ofindulgence for a chocolate bar name, ask aboutthe name’s appropriateness in another indulgentcategory, such as spas or retail stores specializingin cashmere.• Consumers are not namers or designers.Consumers live in the real world, not the concep-tual world. Put the names and designs in as reala context as possible. Let the designers do thedesigning and the consumers the reacting.• Familiarity is a powerful force. New designsare usually less findable on a shelf than ones withwhich people are already familiar. Because of this,the strength of a new design must be evaluated onmore than just “shelf pop.” And new designs oftenunderperform current ones in research; consum-ers often need time to adjust to new strategiesand may not immediately like a new design.• Place more importance on emotional ratherthan rational responses. Use the research tohelp you understand them. Do not underestimateemotional identification that cannot be rationalized.Try harder to understand it.Although it may take time to build recall, composinga sonic identity or longer piece of music basedaround a brand idea is a very efficient way to createdifferentiation and identifiable associations withyour brand. Sounds are less likely to exacerbatecultural differences than words and images,particularly in a short sonic identity, and mostcontain only a few notes that can become relevantacross most of the world.Testing verbal and visual identitiesOnce you have established a direction for a brand’sverbal, visual, and sensory identities, the next stepis to test leading concepts on targeted consumersto learn whether the brand signals effectivelycommunicate the intended idea and have thedesired impact. Research can be used in two mainways to inform and optimize the design process:insight and equity understanding before designand postdesign validation. Preferably, both shouldbe incorporated into a branding project becauseyou learn different things at each stage.Many different methodologies for testing brandsignals are appropriate, depending on your goals,the category, geography, and whether you areintroducing a new brand or a rebrand. Here aresome lessons and principles to remember whenundertaking a design or naming a research project:• People are skeptical about things that aredifferent. Brand signals are designed to bedifferent. Skepticism is magnified in a groupsituation. Focus groups are therefore not theright choice for design research. Be creative.Talk to individuals; find them where they shop.Consumers derive theirperception of a brand fromthe sum of interactionsthey have with it.
  • 23Landor AssociatesIn a world that gets noisier and more complexby the day, a company can design a relevant anddifferentiated brand and still not cut through theclutter to capture public imagination. If you canadd a single catalyst, or power application, to themix and ignite consumer excitement, the entirebrand will be elevated by it. Finding this powerfulinteraction with customers can significantly stretchyour marketing dollars and the impact of your brand.It is important to stress that only in combinationdo brand signals make an impact on a customer’sexperience of a brand. And only when they aredeployed boldly, with courage and single-minded-ness, will they create impact in the cluttered worldof brands we live in. You might notice the logo of anairline first, but it is your experience buying a ticket,waiting in line, flying in the cabin, and interactingwith service people that will form your opinion ofthat airline brand. Red Bull may have a distinctivecan, but its sponsorship and events probably imprintthe idea of the Red Bull brand most firmly in ourminds. Consumers derive their perception of abrand from the sum of interactions they have withit. And delivering the promise of that idea is thework of an entire organization, not just themarketing department.Only through a deep understanding of its customerscan airlines, soft drink companies, or financialinstitutions deliver a brand promise that lives upto the brand idea. Occasionally, the brand idea willbe so well understood that an organization can hiton something that has the power to generate viralcommunications and amplify the brand idea. Forexample, Virgin Atlantic’s head massage servicegot everyone talking about how amazing theVirgin experience was. In truth, it was one of thesmallest parts of a holistic brand experience, butit generated buzz and marked the Virgin experienceas remarkable.Delivering thebrand experienceAdopting a female-focused strategy,Preem’s petrol and convenience storesadded more relevant merchandise andturned its toilet facilities into a genuinepoint of differentiation, giving womensomething to tell their friends about.
  • 24 Essentials of brandingThis process is typically seen as a key part ofbrand management, which is generally interpretedas the means of controlling your brand and keepingits expression consistent. It jars significantly withsome of the other key aspects of branding: thetwo-way interactions with customers on theirjourney, the continually evolving impressions ofa brand in people’s minds, and the use of socialmedia channels to develop a dialogue withcustomers rather than push out a stock message.Brand management used to be about limitingexternal influences. Rigidity was the means toconsistency, and consistency emphasized scaleand professionalism. But the Internet and thedemocratization of image creation have madeeverything public property. (Is there really sucha thing as internal and external communicationstoday?) Today we create brand ideas that transcendthe need to impose discipline by inviting partner-ships with people, inside and outside an organization,who want to be part of the idea. Brands are nolonger about one-way communication; they areabout dialogue between the brand and its customers.Indeed, brand implementation can often incorporatecocreation with the consumer; the MyStarbucksIdeawebsite and Dell’s IdeaStorm are examples of this.Brand management today should be aboutdetermining what cannot change and what mustchange. Advertising agency DDB talks about the70/30 rule: 70 percent consistency but 30 percentflexibility. The 30 percent portion relates to languageand cultural differences, buying behavior nuances,insights into the target market and its preferencesOnce the foundational signals are in place for a newor refreshed brand, the next step is to begin theprocess of codifying and communicating these toall the people who will use them. This very involvedprocess takes a long time. You may read about afirm undertaking a rebrand in July of one year, butnot actually see it until a year later. It is not usuallythe production of the visual identity elements thatgenerally takes the most time (and money) but theimplementation. This can include media testing, thecreation of templates (for specific applications suchas presentations, business cards, stationery suites,brochures, internal websites, country-specifichomepages), the design of packaging mechanicals(printer-ready files created to printer’s specifica-tions), and so on. Implementing a brand requiresdeveloping a plan for every touchpoint on thecustomer journey. It inevitably means creatingguidelines: visual identity guidelines, verbal identityguidelines, digital guidelines, and print guidelines.Often these are translated into other languages foronline accessibility.An implementation process might involve updatingtraining modules and brand resource centers.Some organizations develop help centers, particu-larly in the months pre- and postlaunch, and createbrand modules for new recruits to educate themon exactly what the brand stands for and how touse and “live” it. The implementation process alsoneeds to factor in all the other communicationspartners and their work (advertising, marketing,Facebook sites, screen savers, press releases,leadership speeches, conferences, events, exhibi-tions, offices, chairs, pens).Managing a brand
  • 25Landor Associates 20 DDB, “Brand Consistency Redefined: AchievingConstancy of Purpose and the 70/30 Rule,” Ddb.com/yellowpapers/2007/10 (accessed 12 May 2009).for media consumption, and so on. For example,this understanding of the balance of consistencyand flexibility allows McDonald’s to offer a teriyakiburger in Japan and porridge in the United Kingdom,yet still deliver a consistent set of expectations forthe familiar golden arches.20Consider the role of the brand launch. Rather thanseeing it as the way to push out tools and informa-tion, brand managers should make sure that it fullyengages employees with the brand idea so thatthey are inspired to be part of delivering a customerexperience that expresses the brand. Brandmanagement in the future should not be aboutpolicing standards but rather about nurturingand developing the ongoing brand experience.It can take more than a year fora well-managed brand like Citroënto implement a refreshed brand acrossall customer touchpoints.
  • 26 Essentials of brandingBAV posits a proven model on how brands are builtthat is based on the interrelationship of four branddimensions, known as the four pillars: 1. Differentiation: What makes your brandstand apart 2. Relevance: How appropriate this differenceis to the audience you want to reach 3. Esteem: How well regarded your brand is inthe marketplace 4. Knowledge: How well consumers know andunderstand your brandThis model shows how brands are built one pillarat a time, with differentiation being the first, mostcritical step. A strong brand has high levels ofdifferentiation and relevance. The healthiest brandshave greater differentiation than relevance, whichgives them room to grow. When a brand has a higherdegree of relevance to differentiation it is in dangerof being seen as a commodity; Energizer, Bic, andSaran Wrap are examples of this.Esteem and knowledge, the other two pillars, makeup a brand’s stature. A brand with a higher level ofesteem than level of knowledge is a brand that hasa good reputation, although people may not knowmuch about it. This puts a brand in a great positionto convince consumers to get to know it better.Brands such as Coach and Movado fit this mold.Too much knowledge and not enough esteem isan uncomfortable place to be, however.In the case of leadership brands, such as Disney,Coca-Cola, Sony, and IBM, all four pillars arestrong. A successful new brand, or a successfullyrelaunched brand, will demonstrate a desirableTracking brand strengthBuilding a brand based on differentiation andrelevancy is not simply common sense; its successcan be proven. In the mid-1980s it was recognizedthat all brands, regardless of category, country,or target, seemed to live by certain rules. Tounderstand those rules and describe the strongestbrands, Landor Associates developed ImagePower®,the first cross-category, multicountry study ofbrands. In the early 1990s, the ImagePower studywas expanded from a few key measures of brandstature to the largest study of brands in the world,the BrandAsset®Valuator (BAV).BAV stands apart from other brand studies becauseit is predictive, highlighting leading indicatorsof brand strength. Moreover, it is an incrediblediagnostic tool, illustrating how a brand isperforming against not only direct competitorsbut also against all other major brands in differentcategories. In this way it replicates a consumer’sreal experience of brands in the very clutteredbrandscape. (You wake up to a Sony alarm clock,eat Kellogg’s cereal for breakfast, watch the CNNmorning news, turn on your iPhone, and get ina Toyota car to drive to a Safeway supermarketto use the HSBC ATM inside.)To date, BAV has been fielded in 48 countries, coverssome 30,000 brands, has conducted interviews withmore than 500,000 consumers, and includes dozensof brand metrics and attitudinal questions. BAVis currently run by Young & Rubicam Brands,a consortium of companies that includes Landor.Measuring theperformance ofa brand
  • 27Landor Associates 21 Jon Miller and David Muir, The Business of Brands(John Wiley & Sons, 2004).approach to valuation and the degree of subjectivityused in determining their primary inputs. On onehand, several models employ expert judgment toassess structural factors such as the role of brandin driving business results, and the brand risk thatis reflected in the rate used to discount a business’branded cash flows to determine value. In manypeople’s minds, this subjectivity casts doubt onthe reliability of the valuations such models produce.On the other hand, more rigorous approaches usestatistical models built on objective market data forbrand strength and financial performance to assessthe value contribution of a brand to a company’sfinancial success.For example, significant progress has been madewith BAV, the research database that employsa well-established approach to measuring brandstrength. In one study, partnering with Stern Stewart,a financial consulting firm, BAV was used to showa correlation between brand differentiation andoperating margins. The study found that those firmswhose brand differentiation grew tended to have anoperating margin of 10.5 percent, while those thatsaw differentiation decline had an average operatingmargin of 7 percent.21Longer term, BAV has beenused to track how declines in differentiation oftenset a precedent for a long-term decline in businessperformance.Another brand strength methodology, MillwardBrown Optimor’s BrandZ, is as expansive as BAV(more than 23,000 brands across 31 countries).BrandZ uses a pyramid model that plots increasinglevels of rational and emotional engagement ofconsumers over six levels. The top of the pyramid,the level called bonding (where, on average,step-down pattern of pillars, from differentiation asthe highest to knowledge as the lowest, indicatingthat the brand has found a meaningful way todifferentiate itself in people’s minds. It is ready tointensify its marketing efforts in order to expandits knowledge base. JetBlue and Ikea were in thissituation early on and only grew stronger from there.In the early 1990s Starbucks had this profile, movedto a balanced pillar leadership profile, and now isbeginning to show slight declines in differentiation.Measuring brand valueThere is a natural desire to understand how mucha brand is worth—to have a tangible means tomeasure what is fundamentally an intangible asset.However, just as absolute control in brand manage-ment is not an achievable goal, neither is therea widely accepted, definitive way to accord valueto a brand in financial terms.Nonetheless, several approaches and models havebeen developed to create estimates for brand value.The application of these numbers falls broadly intotwo categories: “brand rankings” published in thebusiness press and “brand valuations” that providemore serious support for business decisions.The lack of consensus over valuation techniquesis most clearly seen in the widely divergent valueestimates for brands in published rankings and,for many people, calls into question the usefulnessof such estimates for more serious purposes.However, there is good academic and practicalevidence that certain approaches provide morerobust results than others. Brand value modelsgenerally differ in two areas: their structural020406080100020406080100020406080100020406080100020406080100020406080100DisneyCokeJetBlueIkeaStarbucksEnergizeddifferentiationRelevance Esteem KnowledgeEnergizeddifferentiationRelevance Esteem KnowledgeEnergizeddifferentiationRelevance Esteem KnowledgeEnergizeddifferentiationRelevance Esteem KnowledgeEnergizeddifferentiationRelevance Esteem KnowledgeEnergizeddifferentiationRelevance Esteem KnowledgeFigure 4: Brand Strength as Measured by BAV in 2009
  • 28 Essentials of branding 22 See note 21.projections, companies’ financial reports, andInterbrand’s own qualitative and quantitativeanalysis.Millward Brown Optimor first launched its list of top100 global brands in 2005, establishing a methodol-ogy based purely on market data that looks both atfinancials (a brand’s reported earnings and assets)and the results of surveys that assess consumers’perceptions of the brands versus their competition.Another approach, used by U.K. consultancy BrandFinance, aims to forecast the top 500 global brandsand focuses its reporting on a number that is saidto signify future brand earnings.Unsurprisingly, there are differences in theserankings. In 2008, Interbrand identified Coca-Cola,IBM, Microsoft, GE, Nokia, Toyota, Intel, McDonald’s,Disney, and Google in its top 10. Millward BrownOptimor’s BrandZ included Google, GE, Microsoft,Coca-Cola, China Mobile, IBM, Apple, McDonald’s,Nokia, and Marlboro. Brand Finance selectedCoca-Cola, Microsoft, Google, Walmart, IBM, GE,HSBC, HP, Nokia, and Citi. More significant, as8 percent of customers sit), contributes, alongwith claimed purchasing data, to a Voltage score,a one-number summary of the growth potential ofa brand. Millward Brown Optimor has mapped thisscore against market share and has proved thatbrands with strong Voltage scores are more likelyto grow market share. Ogilvy and Mather andconsultant A.T. Kearney have done further workwith these Voltage scores in the United States andthe United Kingdom, linking them not only to marketshare growth but also to profit, total shareholderreturns, and levels of business risk.22Three companies publish annual rankings ofbrand value. The longest-running global study isInterbrand’s Global Brand Scorecard, publishedannually in conjunction with BusinessWeek. Itassigns a brand value, measured in billions ofU.S. dollars, to the world’s top 100 brands andplots this against past-year results to show theyear-on-year change in brand value. Arguablythe best-known and most publicized approach,the scorecard includes qualitative judgmentsto assign relative weight to contributing factors.It also includes a range of inputs such as analysts’Methodology: Landor studied approxi-mately 2,500 brands in BrandAsset®Valuator’s U.S. database, identifyingthose brands that exhibited the greatestincreases in brand strength from2005–2008.brands 2005 2008 growthlisted alphabetically percentile percentile in brand rank rank strengthApple 83 96 45%Google 99 100 26%Häagen-Dazs 84 95 35%Hallmark 99 100 25%National Geographic TV 99 100 20%Payless ShoeSource 39 78 58%PayPal 75 92 40%Special K 60 87 48%Super Bowl 94 99 41%Trader Joe’s 93 98 29%The 2009BreakawayBrands®
  • 29Landor Associateswell as differing top 10 lists, the single-numberevaluations of brand worth also diverge considerably.For example, in the 2008 studies, Millward BrownOptimor suggested that the Google brand is worthmore than three times what Interbrand reported($86.1 billion versus $25.6 billion).Clearly, brand valuation scores are not as definitiveas other measures of financial performance, butthe better models going forward will be those thattake into account objective measures of brandstrength based on consumer perception. After all,if we go back to what a brand is, and if we believeit is ultimately held in the minds of consumers,brand valuation models that do not factorconsumer perceptions into their results maybe seriously flawed.Brand value is perhaps still best understood inhindsight, by looking at the price that companiesare prepared to pay for brands. P&G bought Gillettein 2005 for $57 billion, and the value that P&G puton the Gillette brand was 17 percent higher than itsstock market value. 1 Google 114,260 14% 2 IBM 86,383 30% 3 Apple 83,153 32% 4 Microsoft 76,344 0% 5 Coca-Cola1 67,983 1% 6 McDonald’s 66,005 -1% 7 Marlboro 57,047 15% 8 China Mobile 52,616 -14% 9 GE 45,054 -25% 10 Vodafone 44,404 -17% 11 ICBC 43,927 15% 12 HP 39,717 48% 13 Walmart 39,421 -4% 14 BlackBerry 30,708 12% 15 Amazon.com 27,459 29% 16 UPS 26,492 -5% 17 Tesco 25,741 12% 18 Visa 24,883 52% 19 Oracle 24,817 16% 20 Verizon 24,675 39% 21 SAP 24,291 3% 22 AT&T 23,714 18% 23 HSBC 23,408 23% 24 Bank of China 21,960 4% 25 BMW 21,816 -9% 26 Toyota 21,769 -27% 27 China Construction Bank 20,929 -8% 28 Gillette 20,663 -10% 29 Louis Vuitton 19,781 2% 30 Wells Fargo 18,746 16% 31 Santander 18,012 12% 32 Nintendo2 17,834 -2% 33 Pampers 17,434 -8% 34 BP 17,283 N/A 35 Cisco 16,719 -7% 36 RBC 16,608 12% 37 Bank of America 16,393 6% 38 Budweiser3 15,991 20% 39 Exxon Mobil 15,476 N/A 40 Shell 15,112 N/A 41 Disney 15,000 -35% 42 Carrefour 14,980 0% 43 Nokia 14,866 -58% 44 Accenture 14,734 -2% 45 ICICI Bank 14,454 N/A 46 Honda 14,303 -2% 47 Colgate 14,224 15% 48 Intel 14,210 -38% 49 L’Oréal 14,129 -6% 50 Orange 14,018 6% 51 PetroChina 13,935 N/A 52 American Express 13,912 -7% 53 Mercedes-Benz 13,736 -11% 54 Citi 13,403 -8% 55 T-Mobile 13,010 20% 56 BBVA 12,977 3% 57 NTT DoCoMo 12,969 -18% 58 Pepsi4 12,752 -15% 59 Nike 12,597 5% 60 Movistar 12,434 14% 61 Chase 12,426 17% 62 Target 12,148 -1% 63 H&M 12,131 1% 64 Subway 12,032 9% 65 Porsche 12,021 -31% 66 Dell 11,938 -23% 67 MasterCard 11,659 57% 68 Samsung 11,351 80% 69 Telcel 10,850 N/A 70 O2 10,593 23% 71 TD 10,274 -7% 72 MTS 9,723 6% 73 Petrobras 9,675 N/A 74 FedEx 9,418 -1% 75 Baidu 9,356 62% 76 eBay 9,328 -28% 77 Siemens 9,293 -31% 78 Goldman Sachs 9,283 25% 79 Wrigley’s 9,201 -15% 80 Zara 8,986 4% 81 The Home Depot 8,971 -3% 82 Red Bull5 8,917 9% 83 ALDI 8,747 1% 84 Nissan 8,607 -16% 85 Starbucks6 8,490 17% 86 Hermès 8,457 8% 87 Barclays 8,383 20% 88 US Bank 8,377 N/A 89 Standard Chartered 8,327 1% 90 China Mercantile Bank 8,236 2% 91 State Farm Insurance 8,214 19% 92 Beeline 8,160 -8% 93 J.P. Morgan 8,159 4% 94 Sony7 8,147 30% 95 Morgan Stanley 8,003 18% 96 Auchan 7,848 N/A 97 Gucci 7,588 2% 98 Bradesco 7,450 13% 99 Avon 7,293 -16% 100 TIM 7,280 14%BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2010 brand brand value % brand value 2010 ($m) change ’10 vs. ’09 brand brand value % brand value 2010 ($m) change ’10 vs. ’09 brand brand value % brand value 2010 ($m) change ’10 vs. ’09 1 The Brand Value of Coca-Cola includes Lites, Diets and Zero 2 The Brand Value of Nintendo includes Wii and Nintendo DS 3 The Brand Value of Budweiser includes Bud Light 4 The Brand Value of Pepsi includes Lites, Diets and Zero 5 The Brand Value of Red Bull includes sugar-free and Cola 6 The Brand Value of Starbucks includes stores as well as coffeesold at the supermarket 7 Brand Value includes PlayStation 2 and 3, as well as PSPAlthough measuring the ultimate worth of a brand isstill evolving as a discipline, what is firmly acceptedis the importance of brands to business perfor-mance the world over. Creating a strong brand isan even more complicated task than valuing one,and it is never actually complete. The stronger thefoundation, however, the more chance there is thatall the “scraps and straws” that consumers pick upalong the way will accumulate into strong preferenceand long-term affinity for a brand. ■
  • 30 Essentials of brandingand consulting team develops with the client tohelp bridge the brand idea and the visual identity.From the Brand Driver platform came the Helioslogo and other aspects of the visual identitysymbolizing energy and environmental sensitivity.The logo in particular became an external represen-tation of the brand idea and a powerful internalsymbol. But the real transformation came fromthe inside. The branding process involved creatinga series of tools including websites, CDs, brandmovies, newsletters, and all manner of company-branded items that emphasized not only theexcitement of the new visual identity but, moreimportantly, the idea behind it. Indeed it wasthe story of the brand and its promise that BPfocused on telling.Brand champion workshops were organized to traintrainers, generating ownership among individualswithin the company who then evangelized themission to others. In all, more than 1,400 brandchampions were trained in 19 countries over theinitial two months following the launch in July 2000.This was viral marketing at its best: from the inside.The impact was also measured, revealing that bythe ninth month postlaunch, 97 percent of all BPemployees were aware of the Beyond Petroleumbrand idea and new identity.Awareness and action, of course, are two differentthings. BP leadership knew that to engage thehearts and minds of employees over the long term,the brand transformation would have to be aboutmore than flag waving. The result, among otherinitiatives, was the creation of the Helios awards.This annual program honors those employees whoThe BP story is one of the most famous corporatebrand transformations in recent memory. It beganwith a clear vision from a strong leader, Lord JohnBrowne, who wanted to forge a new kind of companyfrom the merger of several well-established brands,chief among them British Petroleum, Amoco,Castrol, and bits and pieces of major oil and gascompanies such as Mobil and Arco. Like all goodvisions, it was a serious stretch for the organization.Lord Browne and his team did not set out to bemerely one of the best petroleum companies inthe world; they wanted BP to be one of the bestcompanies in the world, period.This meant redefining itself from being primarilya refiner of hydrocarbons to a provider of completeenergy solutions. It also meant evolving froma British corporation to becoming a diverseglobal citizen organized around a clear brand ideaand personality. With BP’s upstream and down-stream markets spanning over 100 countries, thechallenge was to find an idea that could resonatemeaningfully and credibly across multiple audienceswhile differentiating the brand from competitors.Through work with Ogilvy & Mather and Landor,the Beyond Petroleum brand idea became themantra that championed both a vision anda promise for the future.The brand idea was expanded into a Brand Driver™platform consisting of the core brand idea, articu-lated as a verbal brand driver and statement ofrelevant differentiation (essentially a brand promise);personality, expressed in terms of brand beliefs(performance, progressive, innovation, and green);and an added tool Landor calls a visual Brand Driver,which is a metaphorical set of images the creativeCase study: BPDelivering thebrand promise
  • 31Landor Associates 23 Wall Street Journal (July 2002). 24 Al Ehrbar, “Breakaway Brands: How Ten Companies,Making Products from Drills to Waffles, Took GoodBrands and Made Them Much, Much Better,” Fortune(31 October 2005). 25 Chicago Business Journal (3 April 2000).These actions have been well noted by the publicand press. Fortune magazine consistently ranksBP a Most Admired Company and as one of the10 most improved brands in terms of brand equityvalue. Indeed, if we apply BAV metrics and SternStewart’s Economic Value Added analytics, BP’sbrand assets alone were quantified as havingincreased by more than $7 billion between 2001and 2005 while competitors declined in value.24In the intervening years, economic, competitive,and professional ups and downs have plagued allcompanies of BP’s scale, but its brand continuesto be regarded as one of the most respected andprogressive in the world. And no other companycomes close to owning BP’s green positioning inits industry.BP is still clearly committed to keeping anddelivering its brand idea. As Lord Browne himselfsaid: “In a global marketplace, branding is cruciallyimportant in attracting customers and business.It is not just a matter of a few gasoline stations orthe logo on pole signs. It is about the identity of thecompany and the values that underpin everythingthat you do and every relationship that you have.”25have contributed to the company and theirrespective communities through actions judged tobe on-brand: performance, progressive, innovation,and green. In this way, leadership communicatesthat Beyond Petroleum is to be a way of life at BP,not a transient tagline.Of course, it is all well and good to get the founda-tions in place, but, in the end, deeds count for morethan words. BP chose its initial actions carefully.Early on, it committed publicly to reducing green-house emissions 10 percent by 2010, the equivalentof taking 18 million cars off the road. It initiatedpartnerships with leading auto manufacturers inthe pursuit of more efficient engines and practicalalternative fuels. BP quickly became one of theworld’s largest producers of solar panels and solarpower, and the second-largest provider of naturalgas. In the summer of 2005, the company announcedan $8 billion investment in alternative energy.These were among the many clear indicatorsthat BP was committed to: achieving its goal oftaking the promise of Beyond Petroleum seriouslyand becoming one of the world’s greatest compa-nies. But did this have any impact on the bottomline? That, too, was impressive. Retail sales atconvenience stores increased 23 percent withinone year of the rebranding effort.23Overall sales,and sales of lubricants and fuels, increased steadilybetween 5 and 10 percent above market growththrough 2004. Profits were exceptional at $91.3billion in 2005, enabling BP to fund new initiativesto drive its business.
  • 32 Essentials of branding
  • 33Landor AssociatesThe Helios logo is an external representa-tion of BP’s brand and a powerful internalsymbol. To highlight its goal to go beyondpetroleum, BP features a Helios sculpturein its headquarters and decorates withaloe vera, the plant that most efficientlyconverts carbon dioxide to oxygen.
  • 34 Essentials of brandingautomobile activityfurniture objectanimal drinktypographyarchitecturemoodBeyond petroleumAt the core of BP is an unshakable commitment to human progress.We aim for radical openness: We will be the magnet for people whowant to change the world with new ideas by delivering a performancestandard that challenges the world’s best companies.Progressive – transforming the way we do businessInnovative – delivering breakthrough solutionsPerformance – setting world-class standardsGreen – demonstrating environmental leadershipVERBAL BRAND DRIVERBRAND PROMISEBELIEFSVISUAL BRAND DRIVERBrand Driver Platform
  • Landor Associates created many of thebrands and designs pictured in this article.PGA identity, p. 3Gatorade packaging, p. 6Xbox packaging, p. 7Downy packaging, p. 9Crest Glide packaging, p. 9Puffs packaging, p. 9Fairy packaging, p. 9Daz packaging, p. 9NyQuil packaging, p. 9Always packaging, p. 9Tide packaging, p. 9Alldays packaging, p. 9Crest Pro-Health packaging, p. 9Ariel packaging, p. 9Febreze packaging, p. 9Blend-a-med packaging, p. 9Secret packaging, p. 9P&G identity, p. 9Ernst & Young identity, p. 11BP identity, p. 31–34Good Co. Coffee identity and packaging, p. 15FedEx identity, p. 16Worldeka identity, p. 17Crest Vivid White packaging, p. 18Ariel packaging, p. 19KFC identity and packaging, p. 21Preem identity and environments, p. 23Citroën identity and environments, p. 25For more information about our work,visit landor.com.
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