The brand corrosion model
The core of Leanius is our framework for identifying and preventing/reversing brand corrosion. Under the hood it’s a complex machinery where we have bolted together our many years of experience working for large, multinational companies with branding studies, behavior theories, value analysis, and supply-demand models to name but a few.
In practice, however, we offer an intuitive and easily implementable method for building powerful brands resistant to organizational changes and market fluxes. A method that builds on our client’s existing brand and knowledge. We have yet to see that the insights and resources necessary to remedy cases of brand corrosion are not already present in the organization. A little excavating is really all it takes.
From a brand is first hatched until it leaves the company grounds, it will have passed through the hands of a large number of people. Corporate communication develop the brand strategy and pen the core story while marketing decide on promotional tactics. Product management help draw up the features, assets, and benefits hierarchy as well as outline the competitor landscape. Subsidiaries contribute with market intel, forecasts, dos and don’ts, sales tactics, and leads.
All contribute resourcefully and with great dedication. Unfortunately rarely at the same time as the brand launch process tends to have a linear flow. And since the involved business units have very different performance indicators (KPIs), the brand gets squeezed and stretched to better meet individual requirements.
Breaking it down
Galvanize the brand – the process
The solution is simple. Bring everybody on board during the initial phase of the brand development process. Look for common denominators.
When everybody pitch in the number of possible brand values, assets, and benefits shrinks leaving only the most powerful – the values, assets, and benefits all units can subscribe to. The result is a lean, strong brand. A brand with longevity.
1. Assemble existing brand
The more complex the company, the more likely its brand/brand portfolio has become fragmented. Therefore, we must first provide a complete overview of the existing brand.
This involves drawing a detailed blueprint of the various elements that constitute the brand.
- What’s in the brand’s DNA?
- What does the brand hierarchy look like?
- What are the brand assets, benefits, and values?
- How do these correlate?
2. Examine brand
Once we have a complete picture of the brand, we can begin to analyze it. What we specifically look at is the brand’s raison d’etre and its well-being. The latter depends on the attention the brand receives from its parent company and the nature of the environment in which the brand has been placed.
- What are the intra-organizational attitudes towards the brand?
- How’s the brand embraced by the organization itself?
- What assets, benefits, and values are being pushed?
- What does the brand look like outside headquarters?
- How’s the brand received by the market?
3. Map degree of corrosion
No matter the hospitality of the market, a brand won’t survive for long if its owners don’t agree on the purpose and direction of the brand. And given the often vast number of individual interests and conflicting KPIs (key performance indicators) in today’s organizations, most brands don’t. The single most important step in building a strong brand is making sure all brand owners are on par.
- What’s the company’s blueprint for branding?
- Are all brand owners involved in the branding process?
- What does the company branding/communication value chain look like?
- How’s brand success measured?
- Are KPIs aligned?
4. Galvanize brand
Equipped with the knowledge of where and how the brand corrodes, we are able to galvanize it. Galvanization is the process of coating the brand in a uniform, universal story that resonates with all brand owners as well as reflects the wants and needs of the market. This entails trimming the brand of all that does not add value and boosting what does.
- What are the wishes for the brand among brand owners?
- Where do market values match corporate values?
- Who are the key personas that the brand must engage with?
- What makes these personas tick?
5. Launch brand
A brand is nothing if it’s not made to be communicated. Execution is as important for the brand’s viability in the market as galvanization is for the brand’s support in the organization. During the launch process we translate the values and intangible assets of the brand into concrete messages. And we produce a communication suite that can be used actively by marketing and sales.
- Brand core story script
- Brand principles
- Key messages
- Tone of voice
- Visual identity
- Detailer kit
- Sales guide
- Ad catalogue
- Props catalogue