If branding were a sport, it would be the decathlon. It’s about all-round performance, about getting a lot of things right. But even in the most sophisticated marketing departments, not all skills are represented at all times. Brand architecture, portfolio management, measurement and evaluation are some of the specialist strategic skills that we have provided for our clients to help them give and gain maximum brand value.
This is about the big questions. What does this brand mean and stand for? How does it create value for customers, employees and the business? What gives it its right to exist? Passionbrand’s approach to positioning focuses on Brand Belief – how the brand will make the world a little better. Today, more than ever, you need some powerful answers.
What is dignified by the term ‘brand architecture’ often more resembles jerry-building. An acquisition here, a line extension there, and you have an architecture that owes more to accident than to design. When the time comes to reorganise the portfolio from strategy up, the Passionbrand decision-tree framework is the place to start.
A battery of questions, embracing commercial, cultural, consumer and HR dimensions, helps you arrive at the most logical and customer-friendly architecture for your business and its brands.
There is a world of difference between a positioning that works on paper and a brand that performs in the market. The positioning is a start point, no more than that. What counts is activating it at every conceivable brand touchpoint. Passionbrand’s Zones of Brand Perception Framework helps brand teams map existing touchpoints, develop new ones, and prioritise according to potential ‘consumer vividness’.
'Generosity' cues Bringing the Marston’s ‘Generous George’ positioning to life for consumers – a range of touchpoints, big and small, throughout the pub, to emphasise the big-hearted spirit of the brand. Like this ‘oversize’ armchair, which quickly became a brand talking point.
A strong brand idea is a fantastic asset. Captivating, motivating and brief, it can capture the brand positioning in a soundbite and inspire vivid, cohesive expression across all communications and behavioural disciplines.
Internal brand engagement
Brand evangelism starts on the inside. But it takes more than a pep talk and a bit of PowerPoint to motivate and inspire employees. Passionbrand’s Internal Brand Engagement Framework, developed in conjunction with HR professionals, involves six stages, all seen from the employee’s point of view. For each stage, engagement activity is developed then carefully phased and choreographed to promote an intuitive, organisation-wide understanding of the brand.
New brand creation
It’s exciting to be involved in the development of a new brand, but also a reminder of that most basic of marketing tenets: that branding starts with the product. The quality and relevance of the new product or service itself is the factor that counts for most in the chances of eventual success. The real work is identifying unmet needs, developing original and appealing solutions and coming at the market with a distinctive ‘value curve’.
In other disciplines CPD would be a norm – in marketing departments, it’s the exception. People tend to simply ‘learn on the job’. Yet a well-constructed training programme can raise the skills of an entire department, and start to repay investment from Day 1. Stop worrying about so-called ‘learning styles’; the theory on that is hotly disputed and in any case a good training session should be varied enough to come at best practice from a dozen different angles, changing pace and combining theory, practical examples, latest trends, inspiring speakers, team challenges and ‘theatre’ in equal measure.
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For EDF Energy, Passionbrand developed and conducted a bespoke, 12-stage training initiative to raise the skills of the entire marketing department. The Brand Boot Camp is where best practice meets new behaviours. It’s fast-paced, challenging, thorough – and fun!
Everything we do is about this journey
In the minds of consumers, brands exist along a spectrum. Wherever your brand happens to sit today, there is no question about the direction in which it is best to move: along to the right, towards ‘passionate advocacy’, where the brand grows through consumer pull, not just marketing push. Our skills converge, in different ways, on this desired outcome.