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February 8, 2017

BRANDING | The Way Forward: Thinking Outside The Box | Part Two

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.

Ever since the business of branding began, the issue of integration and differentiation has been a salient one. But in light of the increased significance of brands as a factor for creating added value, it is more crucial today than ever before. Up until now, branding textbooks have admonished companies to choose one of the two models to the exclusion of the other. Today, however, it is no longer possible to adhere to a purely integrated brand model. The need among companies for more differentiation is putting pressure on the integrated brand model. In the world of business, gut decisions are simply too dangerous. The risk of damaging a successful brand through integration is too great. At the same time, there is tremendous pressure to take advantage of the alluring effects offered by integration. Brand management must find a way to respond to these trends and enable both flexibility and stability.

The future of brand building offers decision-making tools for processes such as these. First, it requires a clearly defined brand model for managing the portfolio, which sets out peripheral activities in addition to the brand’s core areas. This makes it is possible to bring all the various options, from integration to differentiation, into alignment.

Second, it requires the necessary instruments and methods to perform quantitative analysis. They make it possible to raise the value, customer preference, and stretch of the brand. They develop and bring to fruition strategic scenarios that add value to the brand. These brand management instruments allow for a “both/and” option that can achieve added value for an entire brand system.