In my more than 24 years as a brand consultant I have watched a very interesting evolution of brand. The evolution I am referring to is not about how the Internet is upending the way some brands are being promoted, that’s much too narrow of a focus. I am referring to a much larger context of how many, many more organizations are embracing the framework of brand in their strategic thinking and planning. Brand has evolved from an exclusive business strategy available only to consumer packaged goods companies with large advertising budgets to a business framework that can and is being used by leaders of all types of organizations to describe the uniqueness of their products, organization and even themselves.
Early in my career most of my work focused on assignments related to the challenges facing established respected product brands. Much of the work centered on challenges like category management or bread-and-butter brand re-positioning facing brand manufacturers. Our more trade-driven clients asked us help them develop strategies in defense of their large trade customers who were taking more control over the dollars that used to be controlled by the marketing department. Some of our more sophisticated clients retained us to help them work through strategies that included brand licensing. In other cases we were asked to develop multi-tier brand strategies to rationalize the recent acquisition of a competitive brand or to appease the demands of trade customers for a multiple price point offering (code word for offering a brand that had better margins). Our conversations with our clients in the marketing departments were punctuated with a specialist language that clearly indicated brand was designed for an exclusive audience.
Posted by Karl D. Speak