Brand = Culture


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How your brand can win through your culture.

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Brand = Culture

  1. 1. WHITE BRAND = CULTURE:PAPER HOW CULTURE CAN HELP YOUR BRAND WIN Graham Robertson | President of Beloved Brands Inc.
  2. 2. Brand = Culture: How Culture Can Help Your Brand Win. Most people think that that Brand is what the Marketers do. And Culture should be left to the Human Resources department. But in reality, everyone is responsible for both Brand and Culture. Creating a Branded Culture might be a great chance for Marketing and HR to be working together, and find ways to involve everyone from the Brand. The new Brand Leader has to understand that marketing is more than just TV ads and more than just Facebook likes. Brand is about the experience that consumers walk away with. If I am going through the drive-through at 4am or on the phone with customer service or getting an email with a Visa“special offer” from the Bank where I have my Visa, I am in constant judgment of your brand.Beloved = Power:The more loved aBrand, then themore powerfuland valuable thatBrand is.In the consumer’s mind,brands sit on a Brand LoveCurve, with brands goingfrom Indifferent to LikeIt to Love It and finallybecoming a Beloved Brandfor Life.At the Beloved stage,demand becomes desire,needs become cravings,thinking is replaced with © Beloved Brands Inc.feelings. Consumers becomeoutspoken fans. It’s thisconnection that helps drivepower for your brand: power versus competitors, versuscustomers, versus suppliers and even versus the same consumers you’re connected with. The farther alongthe curve, the more power for the brand. It’s important that you understand where your brand sits on the LoveCurve and begin figuring out how to move it along towards becoming a Beloved Brand. The more loved the Brand, the More Valuable the Brand Visit the blog at
  3. 3. 5 Ways that Brands ConnectBrands are able to generate love for their brand when the consumer does connect with the brand. I wisheveryone would stop debating what makes a great brand and realize that all five connectors matter:promise, strategy, story,innovation andexperience. The firstconnector is the BrandPromise, which connects whenthe brand’s main Benefitmatches up to the needs ofconsumers. Once knowingthat promise, everything elsefeeds off that Promise. ForVolvo the promise is Safety, forApple it is Simplicity and FedExit might be Reliability. It’simportant to align yourStrategy and Brand Story pickthe best ways to communicatethe promise, and then aligningyour Innovation and theExperience so that you deliver © Beloved Brands the promise. To ensure theInnovation is aligned, everyone in R&D must be working towards delivering the brand promise. You don’tcreate a new brand promise based on what you invent. If someone at Volvo were to invent the fastest car onthe planet, should they market it as the safe-fast car or should they just sell the technology to Ferrari. Arguably, Volvo could make more money by selling it to a brand where it fits, rather than trying to changepeople’s minds. As for the experience, EVERYONE in the company has to buy into and live up to the BrandPromise. As you can start to see, embedding the Brand Promise right into the culture is essential to thebrand’s success.With each stage of the Brand Love Curve, the consumer will see your brand differently.The worst caseis when consumers have “no opinion” of your brand. They just don’t care. It’s like those restaurants you stopat in the middle of no-where that are called “restaurant”. In those cases, there is no other choice so you mayas well just name it restaurant. But in highly competitive markets, you survive by being liked, but you thrive bybeing loved. Be honest with yourself as to what stage you are at, and try to figure out how to be more loved,with a vision of getting to the Beloved Brand stage. The more loved the Brand, the More Valuable the Brand Visit the blog at
  4. 4. It starts with theBrand DNAEverything in the company shouldfeed off the Brand DNA. The BrandDNA (some call it the Brand Essence)is the most succinct definition of theBrand. For Volvo, it’s “Safety”, whileBMW might be “Performance” andMercedes is “Luxury”. The Tool I useto determine a Brand’s DNA revolvesaround the Brand’s personality, theproducts and services the brandprovides, the internal beacons thatpeople internally rally around whenthinking about the brand andconsumer views of the Brand. Whatwe normally do is brainstorm 3-4 First exposed to the DNA tool at Level5 Strategywords in each section and thenlooking collectively begin to frame the Brand’s DNA with a few words or a phrase to which the brand can standbehind.The DNA helps Guide the Brand’sManagementThe Brand DNA should help frame 1) Brand Plan that drives the businessfor the upcoming year or the next 5 years 2) Brand Positioning thatconnects to the consumer through marketing communications 3)Customer Value Proposition that links the consumer needs to thebenefits of the brand 4) Go-To-Market strategy that frames thedistribution and the selling process 5) Cultural Beacons that help definethe brand internally through values, inspiration and challenge andfinally 6) Business Results, with each brand offering a unique way that it makes money. Each of these sixneeds feed off the Brand DNA, look to the definition as a guideline for how to align to the brand.When you begin to blow this out one step further, you can start to see where the complexity comes into playwith each of the six areas have their own needs that should still feed off that Brand DNA. The more loved the Brand, the More Valuable the Brand Visit the blog at
  5. 5. © Beloved Brands Inc.The DNA sets up the Brand ValuesGreat Brand Leaders should be looking at the culture as an opportunity to win in the market place. No matterhow good your promise is, if you’re companyis not set up to deliver that promise,everything comes crashing down. The brandstory told within the company is even moreimportant than what you might tell themarket through your advertising.Managing organizational culture is verychallenging. The DNA should provide aninternal beacon for all the People in theorganization to follow and deliver the brandpromise. As you move along the Brand LoveCurve from Indifferent to Like It to Love Itand on to Beloved status, you need to makesure the culture keeps pace with where thebrand is.While the DNA can provide the internal beacon, it might not be enough to capture all the behaviors. BrandValues should come from the DNA, and act as guideposts to ensure that the behavior of everyone in The more loved the Brand, the More Valuable the Brand Visit the blog at
  6. 6. the organization is set to deliver upon the Brand’s promise. How do you want your people to show up?What type of service do you want? Howmuch emphasis on innovation? What typeof people do you want to hire? Whatbehavior should be rewarded and whatbehavior is off-side. Having the right BrandValues will help you answer thesequestions. The Brand Values become anextension of what the Brand Leader wantsthe brand to stand for.A great example of Brand Values is theVirgin Group of Companies defines what each value is, but also what it shouldn’t be. I love that Fun means enjoyment but notincompetent and Value means simple butnot cheap.The Right People Leadership MattersHaving values is one thing, but the other component of Culture is the right people leadership. Use the valuesto help people deliver upon the right behaviors, skills and experiences. Leaders must embody the Brand’sDNA and live by the values. Employees will be watching the Leaders to ensure they are living up to the wordson the wall. Leaders need to believe that by investing in their people, the business results will come. Betterpeople produce better work and that drives better results. Talent management means hiring the right peopleand providing the right training. Too many companies are skimping on training and development, which isequivalent to cutting back on your R&D.Every communication to employees, whether in a speech or memo, should touch upon the Brand Values, byhighlighting great examples of when employees have delivered upon a Brand Value. Leverage values, withinspirational touch points and processes to inspire and challenge them on achieving greatness. The culturewill only change when everyone makes the decision to make the change. Brand Leaders should look to Culture as an Asset that can make your Brand Experience even more powerful. The more loved the Brand, the More Valuable the Brand Visit the blog at
  7. 7. About Beloved Brands Inc. I started Beloved Brands Inc. to help your brand realize its full potential value by generating more love for your brand.About Graham RobertsonI’m a marketer at heart, who loves everything about brands. My backgroundincludes 20 years of CPG marketing at companies such as Johnson andJohnson, Pfizer Consumer, General Mills and Coke. I’m the President of BelovedBrands Inc. and can help you find the love for your brand. The reason why Istarted Beloved Brands Inc. is to help brands realize their full potential value bygenerating more love for the brand. I have a reputation as someone who can findgrowth where others can’t, whether that’s on a turnaround, re-positioning, newlaunch or a sustaining high growth. My promise to you is that I will get your brandand your team in a better position for future growth. I only do two things: 1) MakeBrands Better or 2) Make Brand Leaders Better. To read more about BelovedBrands Inc., visit Feel free to add me on Linked Inat or on follow me on Twitter at@GrayRobertson1How we can make your Brand better through strategic planningworkshops:• Strategic Brand Plan• Brand Positioning• Creative Briefs• Brand Analysis• Brand Research• Advice on execution• Prioritization of ActivitiesHow we can make your People better through Brand Leadership training and coaching• Writing a Brand Plan• Better Strategic Thinking• Developing a Brand Positioning• Writing a Creative Briefs• Deep Dive Brand Analysis• Getting Better Execution Beloved = Power = Growth = Profit The more loved the Brand, the More Valuable the Brand Visit the blog at