IMC Intuition

Thinking out loud about all things IMC

It’s all about the Brand

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Communication World magazine, published by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) published an excellent issue this month entitled, The Global Brand Nexus – well worth the time to review by any type of  organization because the understanding of brand and the model of how effective branding is achieved has changed over that past 10 years and will continue to evolve as we enter into the Web 3.0 era.

 In A whole new world Stephen Cheliotis and Lizzie Carr present a four step process for evaluating global brands:

  • Step 1:  Internal brand audit
  • Step 2:  External brand audit
  • Step 3:  Target consumer group identification
  • Step 4:  Vision and positioning

They present case studies from global brands like McDonalds and Gossard that show how brand audits were successfully used to implement local solutions while maintain the look and feel of the global brands.  In my experience, positioning statements are a frequently  missing, yet crucial link in the process.

Mark Schumann, ABC tells us to make sure your internal brand resonates with employees in his article The ties that bind.  He quotes from James Lynch, VP of Communications for American Express, “A brand is the company’s DNA…it’s that simple and that powerful.  But a company cannot only wear its DNA on its sleeve to its customers and the public.  It must also ensure its DNA is alive and well among its employees.”

Brand used to mean a clever logo and tagline along consistent look and feel of all of the company’s visuals.  Marty Neumeier tells us in his book The Brand Gap that “A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service or organization.”  Yes, visuals are important, but it is the company’s employees that deliver the product or service, not the logo.

CW Editor Natasha Nicholson interviewed author Nigel Hollis, author of The Global Brand about the challenges and opportunities associated with global brands.  One of his responses that I know I have found to be true is, “Don’t assume that worked at home will work abroad.”  Read the whole interview:   Thinking locally, thriving globally

I spoke with Natasha this past week and let her know what a great issue this was (it also includes a special Asia/Pacific report primarily on mobile marketing/communications), and she said, “Thanks! it was a very challenging issue to put together!”  No doubt.  It was excellent.

 Links in this post:

 International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) – http://www.iabc.com/

Communication World magazine – http://www.iabc.com/cw/

 The Brand Gap- http://www.thebrandgapbook.com/

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