dimarts, de desembre 23, 2003

Construint marca entre tots.

http://www.instituteforbrandleadership.org/realityeditorial.htmlWhen, back in the 1950s, Peter Drucker said that marketing and innovation add value, everything else in an organisation adds costs, his context was that of marketing being integrated into everyone’s job. Forty years deviation from this ideal - at least in many Western companies - raises the question whether today’s marketers are up to the master-integration job. Ironically, if they understood that the emerging power of intranets depends on editing web’s of knowhow to communicate so simply that any function can understand marketing’s Promise, then marketing leaders might surprise themselves at how much of their common sense is needed to really drive value creation- organisation-wide and organisation-deep. By enabling every section of employees to question and answer the brand promise, through learning organisation approaches to branding - eg Brand Chartering (Macrae 1996) - every employee’s understanding of the promise of the brand lifestyle can be developed through all levels of involvement from awareness to passionate commitment.
Increasingly what motivates people is a marketing job. What motivates - especially knowledge workers - is less about the paycheck; it is about a shared challenge. Needing to know an organisation’s mission and believing in it. ...The only competitive advantage developed countries can hope for is the productivity of their knowledge workers. Yet this is still abysmally low - unimproved in 100 years - for the simple reason that nobody has worked at improving this productivity. All our work on productivity has been on the productivity of the manual worker.
Dave Allen (1999), CEO of Enterprise IG, reminds us of the various ways in which 2-way communications could work so that a company learns as much about the wants of people who relate to the company as it knows about what it -the company - wants.

"Intuitively, we all know that relationships build value when they continuously exchange something that both sides couldn’t get without the other. Whilst we talk about this in concepts like image, identity, experience, value, learning etc, few companies have really stood back and asked how to redesign processes to leverage the main differences between the 20th century’s one way corporate communications processes, and new two way processes. For example, how many customer complaints processes do you as a customer know of which reward you when you fill a gap in the company’s competence to promise?


Yet, the knowledge-age service company will build even more value if it can design its core activities around both of these exchanges and the interaction between what more can employees give and take from customers.


When you look at the brand architectures that many 20th century companies have invested in, they are not conducive to taking advantage of all - or even the majority of - the trends of globalisation, digitalisation and networks. Often brand architectures are hangovers from times when the powers of brand operators included cheap media, national audience reach, uncrowded markets, consumers whose national segmentations and geographic distances from each other separated them from knowing what was the world’s best quality and value. The good news for humankind is that such consumer ignorance is disappearing at the speed associated with electronic networks. The bad news is that many over-powerful organisations are reacting defensively. In the short-term, consumers will be propositioned with the worst of both worlds of mass one- way communications and two-way dialogue, before we can all discover what the best of both worlds should be. Just look how few brand web sites today really encourage browsers to talk back to their creators.


I believe I speak for all the writers in this journal when I say we are acutely conscious that there is a lot of work to be done to get from where we are today to where the brand and the communications industry need to be if branding is actually to earn the right of being a company’s most valuable interactive asset. In reality, this can only happen when CEOs realise that the total system of marketing learning organisation - in its markets, its employees’ passions and in the pride in its focused knowledge systems - calls on all the talents of grown up communications professionals. To make all the promising connections, to integrate so that the whole has integrity in every loyal relationship it seeks, to design places and mental spaces where productivity grows, and to sustain value added by the human drive to learn.

This is editorial I wrote as guest editor of a triple special issue of Journal of Marketing Management on brands with Employee Brand Reality, Jan-April 1999

Chris Macrae, email wcbn007@easynet.co.uk