brand managers

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I’ve been reading a lot about Artificial Intelligence, self-driving cars and trucks, brick layers whose jobs are in jeopardy because of robots….and that’s just in today’s paper. As a brand planner I have to admit it makes me a bit giddy to think about what the art of branding will be like when things are more automated.  I suspect there will be more compliance. The biggest hurdle to compliance when it comes to following brand strategy is, ta-dah, the people. The creative brain. The need to problem solve in one’s own unique way.

Coloring outside the lines in brand strategy doesn’t work. Its s slippery slope. Brand managers get sidetracked. They see something shiny and skirt away from the claim and proof array that is their brand’s organizing principle.  SEO and Adwords might go off on a tangent that spikes sales. A new TV campaign might hit the front page of Vice. Little marketing tickles that cause a brand to veer.

Machines won’t let that happen. They are relentless. Machine learning is focused…and relentless.

Kind of stoked. Peace.


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Jeff Bezos visited The Washington Post yesterday and was tweeted as saying “I’ve always felt that the most powerful minds in the world can hold powerful inconsistencies.” Well, if the most powerful minds in the world (Einstein, Franklin, Churchill) offer inconsistencies what can we expect of brands?  Brands need a plan, all the more.

We know when a brand pushes innovation, perception of that brand’s cost goes up. When a brand promotes tasty, it conveys less-than-a-healthy food choice. These values are inconsistent related to a positive consumer value proposition and managing.

A good brand plan offers consistency.  A brand plan and the brand managers who create, support, and follow it are charged with removing as much inconsistency in the brand experience as is humanly possible. Protect the plan and you improve marketing cost-effective.  Those who do, become zealots….my favorite kind of people.

The people at The Washington Post have a brand plan but they know about inconsistency. It fuels their business. Mr. Bezos gets their world (for now) and ours. Peace! 

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