brand strategy training

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It’s debatable how many companies actually have brand strategies.  They have brands, products, services, mission statements, taglines, marketing plans and ads. But brand strategies? Organizing principles for product, experience and messaging?  No so much. Many marketers have de facto brand strategies, not codified as “one claim and three proof planks.” They may take the form of a big “idea” with some provable supports. Or a de facto brand strategy may come from an ad, or highly effective promotion. Perhaps a marketing document drawn up during a peak sales period. But often, as can be the case with real brand strategies, de facto versions drift away.

I do a lot of training and it’s my belief that the root cause of powerful brands is training. Everyone at the company needs to know the brand strategy. Not just the brand managers. Geo-technical engineers need to know their brand strategies.  Kitchen remodelers need to know it. Truck drivers who deliver the goods, cardiothoracic surgeons who work for the system. Everybody.

When everyone is trained on brand strategy, when management spends time and money reinforcing it, a brand takes on a life of its own.

Peace.

 

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Brand Lift-Off.

One of the goals of What’s The Idea? is to create for clients explicit guidance for “product, experience and messaging.” It’s not easy but it’s doable. The real hard part is turning that explicit brand strategy into implicit company actions. Brand actions, behaviors and deeds enculturated through the company or brand group are the Holy Grail. When this happens consumers learn and follow. As brand strategy permeates a company and the using masses, brands begin to thrive. You can feel it.

Brand strategy training is a key component of brand management. When the receptionist knows the brand claim and proof array (3 proof planks) and is able to espouse and act on it as well as the CEO and CMO, we have lift off.

When explicit turns implicit, we have brand lift off.

Peace.

 

 

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I was talking to a colleague last week, a newly minted consultant, who asked my opinion on licensing brand strategy.  I suggested once a brand strategy is sold, it makes sense to put an annual license fee on the strategy, for as long as the company uses it. A nominal amount. Rather than simply sending an invoice each year, the fee should come with value. And that value is an open-ended offer to the client to share work with me for validation – so they know it’s on strategy. The fee would also cover an annual refresher or training course on the brand strategy – one which new employees or agencies should attend.

One of my biggest regrets with What’s The Idea? is that I often finish a brand strategy then sail into the sunset; leaving the brand and marketing managers to deal with compliance. At mid-size, small and start-up companies marketing directors typically don’t have these skills.

My friends at Brandtuitive are good at this. They make sure training is part of their engagement. The notion of making a company pay a recurring annual fee for training and compliance, albeit a small one, makes lots of sense. But is has to be more about compliance than a license of the idea. (And remember “Campaigns come and go, a powerful brand strategy is indelible.”)

Thought?

 

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