The organization must ensure that the brand Identity is adequate in terms of logos, messages, and other brand expressions. Additionally, the corporate identity, as well as the divisions all the way down to the products in an organization, need to be named and presented in a coherent fashion.
A useful tool to do this is often an easy-to-grasp visual representation of the entire portfolio that is available both in printed and online form, as well as a brand book that conveys an exhaustive presentation of the standards and guidelines related to the brand.
The brand fails to inspire the organization internally and fails to offer a platform for marketers, agencies and others to differentiate the brand in the competitive marketplace.
Brand missions that don’t provide clear strategic direction or fail to connect to consumers will weaken the brand promise. Building a successful brand mission requires far more than wordsmithing or sounding right.
A successful brand mission must be developed into a forward-leaning vision of the brand that serves to inspire and is built across the full spectrum of the organization — from corporate to product to marketing to operations.
The organization needs all logos, slogans, mascots and jingles to be used without variance or defect. Color use must be consistent and accurate. Ideally, templates will be available to help users of the Brand in order to ensure they get it right in all presentations (including PowerPoints, documents, emails and forms), as well as packaging, websites, letterhead and screensavers — anywhere the brand is used or displayed. Additionally, all staff should be trained in what to say when speaking about their brand (for example, an ability to articulate the elevator pitch).
The simplest way to identify this problem is to answer the question: “Is the brand promise being kept or is the brand promise being broken?”
Brand efficacy needs to be measured from the perspective of the users of the brand, and the judgment or reckoning regarding any issues should be made with the user relationship in mind. While this can be measured in a decline in market share or decline in sales revenue, brand efficacy problems should be identified and validated by engaging with the customers directly and honestly.
Organizations seeking excellence in brand management need to regularly audit for compliance to the brand promise, as well as monitor whether the users’ brand experience is satisfactory.
The umbrella brand must align appropriately to its component brands. A lack of alignment can be overt (a naming strategy that is totally disconnected) or tied to less noticeable elements such as a brand’s personality. This is not meant to imply that naming should be rigid, but rather that naming should be consistent and harmonious. (Automobile brands make great case studies. For example, why does the Ford Motor Company have a “Ford Trucks” division but not a “Ford Luxury” division?)
Other factors to consider include the breadth of the portfolio or whether resources are limited. For example, start-ups or under-resourced organizations have a practical advantage when investing in a single brand identity for both company and products.
There are three major brand positioning deficiencies:
A useful exercise is to map brand positioning by diagramming where a brand stands in regards to competition, market segments, consumer perception and key benefits. Through this analysis, the brand manager can pinpoint not only a brand’s current position but also a brand’s ideal position, and then develop strategies to cause the desired change.