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February 1, 2017

BRANDING | The Way Forward: Thinking Outside the Box | Part One

When facing these new challenges, brands must avoid textbook solutions, and instead think outside the box. Below are four new ways to think about brand building.

Previously, centralized brand management was considered fundamental to successful brands. However, currently market and business realities point in another direction. There is now a need to be close to markets. The transformation of company departments into profit centers shows all too well that more factors influence the brand than was previously believed. As such, brand building and brand management require more decentralized structures.

Nevertheless, “totalitarian” brand management is not the goal. Rather, the organizational process between company headquarters and branches must be anchored to ensure that the consolidation of all brand communication effort is the “sine qua non,” and counteracts the “silo mentality.”

This requires clearly defined responsibilities between central and decentralized departments, as well as authoritative entities capable of ensuring that coordination processes facilitate cooperation on clear, common objectives. Responsibilities must be assigned on the basis of the brand’s experience chain and the relevant communicative focal points, including their relevance for the brand’s business. Establishing rules for dealing with conflicts can turn disputes about power and resources into constructive solutions. Interactive instruments such as CI-nets, brand management portals, and brand filters not only enhance the exchange of information but also facilitate consistent, efficient brand-building activities, even in companies with decentralized organizational structures.