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Marketing professionals should look through their brand lens for communications clarity.

March 13, 2012

How one voice can streamline decision-making and economize marketing.

I recognize that most marketing folks do not live a luxurious work life. Let’s face it, marketing means execution. That job entails, among other things, the support of sales ambitions with ads, broadcast, direct mail, collateral pieces, social and emerging media initiatives, PR, door hangers and any new idea that makes sense. In some companies, that can mean hundreds of applications a month.

How do we maintain that “One Voice” that we like to think we have?

The brand lens.

For those enterprises with a strong focus on their brand, this is nothing new. Nor is it a really difficult task. But, for many organizations, communications can be the message de jour. Or, a promotion or co-branding gimmick, weekend sale or whatever third quarter results corporate is demanding.

The brand lens represents the guardrails for communication. In other words, at every brand touch point, there is a consistent brand message or even graphic application that clarifies and repeats who the company is, what it does differently and why it does what it does. In many applications, the brand essence statement is presented or uttered. In some, the brand positioning line is typed under the company logo. In still others, consistent colors, typestyle, spokesperson, even corporate attitude are communicated.

According to Scott Davis and Michael Dunn, authors of Building The Brand Driven Business, it goes way further: “The strategic brand lens helps senior leaders and strategic thinkers integrate the brand into their approach to strategy.”

And in a Prophet article (Dunn is president and CEO of Prophet) entitled Brand Assimilation, Aligning Your Employees Around Your Brand, this statement appears: “Making the brand the central focus of the organization clarifies for any employee what is ‘on brand’ and what is ‘off brand’.” This too, is looking through the brand lens for validation.
Based on this, everything from the headline in an ad to the way the phone is answered, to the decision on what companies to acquire, all brand communications and strategic decisions must first pass through the brand lens. If you think this is too difficult a task with meaningless outcomes, take a look at Southwest Airlines, Apple, Disney or any of the truly successful companies.
And what can you expect with this kind of discipline? How about clarity, consistency of message, trust and understanding by all employees, customers and prospects, and … one voice.
To read the Prophet article, go to:

– By Tom Traynor

About The Brand Establishment

The Brand Establishment perfected the first contemporary brand development process specifically for small to mid-sized advertisers more than two decades ago. These tools and procedures have been utilized by companies in virtually every business sector – hundreds of times.