enculturation

You are currently browsing articles tagged enculturation.

Brand Leavening.

Yesterday I posted about brand compliance. Today it’s about the next step, brand leavening. With a strong brand strategy (one claim, three proof planks) and a smart CEO or brand compliance office to push the strategy, leavening of the brand idea can occur. As the understanding of the brand idea and planks grow within a company, life all around becomes easier. Everyone knows what they are doing and why. When a brand strategy is practiced throughout a company a more collegial feeling grows among employees.

Why is it that a 4-year college grad roots for his/her college sports team(s) for decades, while an employee of 6 years may not give second thought?  There’s a fealty to colleges that many companies can’t duplicate. A leavening takes place at college. A purposeful commitment.

Companies and brands with well=leavened brand strategies engender loyalty. It’s how one enculturates an organization.  Tink about it as my Norwegian Aunt would have said.

Peace.         

 

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Brand strategies are first and foremost internal documents. Ninety percent of marketers think they are external; ideas to be foisted upon the consuming public. That’s called advertising.

Brand strategy comes way before advertising. It’s an organizing principle for product, experience and messaging. It needs to be sold in at the top levels of a company and enculturated through to the lowest levels of the company. When so handled there are few things more powerful in the land of marketing.

I’ve written before that one of my regrets has been the inability to sell brand strategy throughout the client company. If the strategy is sold only on the executive floor, but doesn’t make it down the elevator, it is less likely to provide the shareholder/stakeholder/business value it needs to.

The heavy lifting of adopting a brand strategy is found in training. And internal communications. PR needs to buy in as well. Once approved, brand strategy is not a democratic pursuit. It needs to be shared, understood, operationalized, practiced and incentivized.

Great brand strategy becomes culture.

Peace.

 

 

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Many think of marketing as acquisition. Or lead generation. Business leaders in that mode don’t really understand brand planning. What often drives leaders who think this way towards branding or rebranding are: old logos, mergers and acquisitions, and boredom. Brand planning though, is all about strategy.

At What’s The Idea? a brand plan is defined as one strategic idea (or claim) and the three support planks – planks that prove the claim and organize how business is done. A mark or logo is best if it supports that idea. Salespeople and operations people are optimized if they are guided by an organizing principle.  Those businesses who don’t get branding can’t ask employees to go out and “blue” for the company based on the color palette or “leader” for the company, based on a mission statement.  

A brand plan makes it so that when every employee leaves the building at night they can ask themselves a strategic question about their performance. And that is the litmus test.

I like to say “campaigns come and go, a powerful brand idea is indelible.”  Leads come and go. Customers come and go.  Brands strategy should not. If it’s not about building and maintaining business through strategy, it’s not a brand plan.

Employees come and go too, their understanding of the strategy should not. Executives talk all the time about company culture. At the best companies strategy is enculturated.  Peace.

Tags: , , , , ,

I had to look up the word enculturation a couple of months back while writing a pitch email. In fact, at the time I wasn’t sure it was a word.  Enculturation is mission-critical to my business and the goal of every brand plan I write.  A good brand plan helps employees drink the Kool Aid — educating them as to the unique and meaningful points of difference. By enculturating a company with the brand’s promise and supports marketing in its many forms is simplified and made more effective.  Only when a company adopts a brand plan can it truly be extended to consumers. The enculturation of a brand plan organizes employee and consumer minds, removing clutter.

Most advertisers and marketers hate “clutter.” I love it.  The more clutter there is in a category the more likely it can be broken.  A brand strategy may sometimes sound familiar, maybe even undifferentiated, but if it’s the right one, it will be actionable and defensible and its messages, demonstrations, and deeds profound.

Newsday knows where people (on Long Island) live. The Daily News doesn’t. North Shore-LIJ Health System provides a systematized approach to improving healthcare. St. Francis Hospital doesn’t.  Isopure Plus uncovers the taste of pure protein. Milky Ensure doesn’t.

When a brand creates a culture around its points of advantage it becomes a brand. When it doesn’t it remains a product.  Peace!

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,