There is an ongoing battle between branding and marketing in our organisations. Brand experts are constantly designing materials and protecting marketers from brand misuse, while marketers are pressing to get these materials produced on brand and approved on demand.
This disharmony causes serious damage to our organisations:
- Brand misuse reduces the brand value – and thus the organisation’s perceived value – a precious asset that takes many years and an immeasurable amount of work to build;
- Delayed marketing materials and approvals mean missed market opportunities - missed sales and revenue - diminishing tomorrow’s value of the organisation.
The high-level orchestration of brand and marketing throughout years and decades is what sets great brands apart from the pack. There are obviously several other aspects that impact on brand perception - from the marketing and sales engagement process, through to product and service delivery, to renewal and cancellation - but we’ll leave these to another post.
So, how do we orchestrate brand and marketing efforts?
First off we need to better understand each other. Branding experts need to learn how marketers operate, their challenges - the massive amounts of digital, print and event requests, the alignment of campaigns across different media and formats, the tight deadlines.
Marketers need to spend more time with brand experts to learn about the resources needed to produce all materials requested whilst adhering to brand guidelines, the amount of materials that need approval before they hit the market and their hopes around a brand automation tool that consolidates production speed with on brand designs.
So creating empathy as a first step is key. We are all working towards the same goals! Quoting Meg Bear, Oracle’s group vice president, “Empathy is the critical 21st-century skill.”
Next, brand experts and marketers should imagine, discuss and agree on how we can best collaborate to achieve the branding and marketing KPIs; striving towards our organisation’s overarching goals, thus turning our brands and messaging into engaging and memorable experiences - to our staff, prospects, clients, business partners and to the community.