Brand building takes time. It can be an intense and, at times, dramatic process geared towards creating enduring business value through sustained customer preference.
At the heart of a brand building process is a brand experience built on the interactions between a company and its customers. It shapes the expectations and associations, and affirms value with each interaction customers have with the company.
There is immense economic power in this notion of a brand, yet several obstacles can stand in its way. One of the most common is a company’s failure to build the brand experience in a truly integrated manner.
Usually, once a brand strategy is approved, the chief marketing officer begins to gather resources and plans from multiple functional areas into a cohesive master plan that builds the brand experience. Typical obstacles such as organisational rigidity and silos, conflicting priorities, skill adequacy, resource constraints and the eternal political undercurrents conspire with the ongoing business pressures to produce sub-optimal compromises.
The result is a brand experience that doesn’t fully support the carefully thought-through brand strategy designed to deliver critical business objectives. The outcome is analogous to the one produced by the geological fault lines that separate the continental plates: when a brand experience doesn’t align with the brand strategy, the friction caused can have dire consequences.
At Vault MCM, we anticipate this by embedding a simple, yet critical step in the brand strategy development process: the strategic brand roadmap. The roadmap enables a company to ensure the brand strategy is coordinated across all internal and external areas that affect the customer experience and the delivery of a brand strategy.
Utilising the insights and the knowledge acquired through the brand strategy development process, we develop a point-of-view and a preliminary plan based on all the touch points that are necessary to build a holistic brand experience.
We present to and discuss the roadmap with the executive team in a workshop format and fine tune and finalise the goals and measurement systems over the following weeks. On completion, the chief marketing officer can then begin to execute immediately and build the brand experience, confident of executive team support and clear priorities with assigned resources.
The strategic brand roadmap delivers several benefits:
- It creates internal alignment among executive teams and across key areas of the company.
- It eliminates (or at least greatly tempers) internal obstacles.
- It helps prioritise areas of action and investments necessary to transform a brand strategy into an engaging reality that serves the business needs in a cohesive format.
- It empowers the CMO to build a brand experience designed for maximum performance.
- It gives the CEO a great management tool, and keeps executives accountable and engaged.
Achieving alignment between brand and business strategy with a strategic brand roadmap is a crucial starting point and the first step towards building an economically powerful brand and customer experience.