Having created and shaped several successful brands over the past decade,
including FrontBridge (acquired by Microsoft) and FileNet (acquired by IBM),
there are a few fundamentals that are key to successful brand development. It
has to start at the top with the CEO supporting an investment in branding and
disciplined brand management. Without that, it’s a non-starter. Given
technology companies are continuously innovating and changing products, the
brand strategy has to be differentiated and relevant to target markets and
the executional guidelines have to be consistently applied in order for brand
equity to be built over time
A good place for marketers to start is to have a branding manifesto, i.e.,
what’s the purpose of building a brand and what difference will it make?
Here’s what I wrote at FileNet:. “A brand is much more than a logo.
It’s the t... (more)
It's anyone's guess when the recession bottoms out and we get back to
growth. Rather than remain in a "state" of denial - like California did for
too long - or adopt a hunker down mentality - "let's just ride this one out"
- as many companies have, there's a middle path of taking proactive measures
steps now, so that when growth reappears, your company is better positioned
to gain an unfair share of the increased customer demand that will be there
to harvest. Here are a few considerations to come out will your guns
Get back to basics. One of my colleagues recently s... (more)
Given all the pressure to deliver "in quarter" results, it's becoming
increasingly difficult to get executive attention on strategy formation
and/or re-examination. Executive energy is largely consumed with driving
operational excellence and available "cycles' are devoted to sales and growth
initiatives designed to drive near-term, measurable improvements in sales
and/or profitability. It makes sense given we are still "heads down"
working our way out of an enduring global recession.
Nevertheless, there's a risk that by ignoring meaningful strategy formulation
today, your com... (more)
If you haven't revisited your brand architecture in more than a year, it's
likely what you're building is a façade, rather than reinforcing a
foundation. Because technology and innovation are inextricably linked, tech
companies are continuously introducing new products and services, and in most
cases, adding brands and sub-brands into their product portfolios. Over
time, even a sound architecture can begin to crumble under the strain of too
many overlapping brand layers.
It's not as if tech marketers are trying to create brand disorder and chaos,
it's just that inattention to... (more)
Most organizational experts will tell you that when joining an organization,
the company's culture is the key to determining whether you will thrive or
suffer in a given work environment. While this is true for a mid-level
manager or individual contributor, the closer you get to the top, the less a
culture matters and the more the CEO's leadership and management style impact
your work satisfaction.
I learned this when early in my career I was a director at a privately held
company that was acquired by a much large public company. In a matter of a
few weeks our approachable, per... (more)