“To compare a brand with its competitors, we only need to know what makes it different. Brand management is the management of differences, not as they exist on data sheets, but as they exist in the minds of people.
“Strategy and creativity, in most companies, are separated by a mile-wide chasm. On one side are the strategists and marketing people who favor left-brain thinking – analytical, logical, linear, concrete, numerical, berbal. On the other side are the designers and creative people who favor right-brain thinking – intuitive, emotional, spacial, visual, physical.
“Unfortunately, the left brain doesn’t always know what the right brain is doing. Whenever ther’s a rift between strategy and creativity – between logic and magic – there is a brand gap.
Each brand needs to answer three questions:
- Who are you?
- What do you do?
- Why does it matter?
The third question is the most difficult.
“Instead of building a brand on USP (the Unique Selling Proposition of a product), we should pay more attention to “UBS” (the Unique Buying State of the customers).
“Brand requires focus. It is better to be number one in a small category than to be number three in a large one. At number three your strategy may have to include a low price, whereas at number one you can charge a premium. …and risk of commodization is almost nonexistent.
“…The most important shift in business today is from “ownership” to “partnership,” and from “individual tasks” to “collaboration.” The successful company is not one with the most brains, but the most brains acting in concert.
There are three basic models to manage brand collaboration:
The third version is the preference among advanced branders. The company has to lean how to recruit best-of-breed creative firms from around the world and get them to play together on an all-start team.
“According to a recent McKinsey report, the next economy will see a significant rise in network organizations – groups of “unbounded” companies cooperating across the value chain to deliver products and services to customers. By owning fewer assets and leveraging the resources of partner companies, these network orchestrators require less capital, return higher revenues per employee, and spread the risks of a volatile market across the network.
MAYA – the Most Advanced Yet Acceptable solution.
“When you think about it, branding is simply a convenient package for a business idea.
“Guy Kawasaki advises his clients: “Don’t worry, be crappy.” Let the brand live, breathe, make mistakes, be human. Brands can afford to be inconsistent – as long as they don’t abandon their defining attributes.
“Every person in the company should be issued a personal shockproof brandometer – a durable set of ideas about what the brand is and what makes it tick. Because no decision, bug or small, should be made without asking the million-dollar question: “Will it help or hurt the brand?”