One of the most common ways of structuring a department to manage brands was the brand management system devised by Procter and Gamble in the 1930s. under this system a manager was made responsible for a low number of brand and had responsibility for developing and implementing the brand marketing plans. However, the 1990s proved particularly challenging due to such factors as more sophisticated, demanding and micro-segmented consumers, the growth of multimedia technologies, new distribution channels and globalisation. The traditional brand management system was not sufficiently able to respond to these challenges and many firms reorganised the way they structured their departments.
A common theme in this restructuring was the move to brands being managed by teams rather than individuals. The popularity of a team-based approach to brand management arises from the notice that improved performance is more likely to occur from the group’s combined capabilities to identity and solve problems the precise structure of the team varied by organisation.
Whatever be the structure adopted, the multidisciplinary team operate on a boundary spanning basis, co-ordinating and transmitting information so value can be created. They jointly lobby for resources and act as catalysts for change, reflecting the increasingly demanding needs of experienced customers.
- Don’t just focus their activities internally, but also take heed of the dynamic external environment;
- Have extensive ties internally and externally;
- Operate through three types of team membership, i.e. the core tier devising strategy, the operational tier joining the team for ad hoc projects needing specialised expertise;
- Have flexible membership with people leaving and joining over the brand’s life; and
- Employ effective co-ordination mechanisms such as integrative meetings, transparent decision making and shared timelines.
The team approach is better suited to today’s more competitive environment and should be able to respond faster and in a more co-ordinated manner. Throughout this book reference will be frequently made to the brand team to reflect this form of brand management. The larger number of people working on the brand provide a more comprehensive representation of their organisation’s competencies.
Brands are valuable to all associated stakeholders. Their wealth-generating capabilities result from the way organisations seeks to add value to stakeholders’ experiences. Brands are clusters of functions and emotional values that enable promises to be more about unique mix of functional and emotional values is devised to enhance customers’ lifestyles. However, with the growth of the services sector, the move to the experience economy and grater interaction through the internet, customers’ greater interaction with firms provides them with powerful clues about brands’ values. It is therefore argued that a more balanced perspective is needed whereby brand management is as much about managing the brand internally (i.e. the role of staff) as it is managing it externally (matching customers’ needs). As staff are seen by customers as a manifestation of the brand, it is important that they have the knowledge, skills and organisational support to deliver the functional brand values. Furthermore by recruiting staff who genuinely believe in the brand’s values, and therefore have their values aligned with those of the brand, mangers need to enable these committed employees to behave in a way which reinforces the desired emotional values of the brand.
Brand management, or promise management, entails adopting a planned programme that bridges both staff’s capabilities and enthusiasm with customers’ expectations. Effective brand management is about harnessing the organisation’s values and competencies in such a way that a unified process can deliver an authentic and welcomed experience. As a result of the pan-company approach needed to build and sustain brands, a team-based approach is commonly seen when firms structure their brand management processes.
This Article is taken from Brand Vision to Brand Evaluation
Written by Arshad. A