Some companies might approach a brand refresh as an exercise in design or communication. That’s a mistake, according to Bill Kobel, vice president, strategy and integrated communications, at marketing firm JPL.
“Brand strategy is about transforming the business,” he said. And that means everyone: “The most common thing we see that damages a brand is when a CEO and the executive team don’t buy into brand as a business priority.”
But getting buy-in from employees is also critical. “Employees are as important to your brand success as your customers,” Kobel said. Employees represent and activate your brand, so they have to understand it and believe in it.
Brands without that kind of firm anchor across the organization risk drifting away from their core values. “We often see organizations that break their brand promise,” Kobel continued. They may start by building a great brand promise, but after a while they stop delivering on it. And that can lead to even bigger issues.
“The real fallout of breaking your brand promise is loss of trust,” Kobel said. “Once you lose trust, you have to work twice as hard to earn it back—if you can.”
Highlights from this week’s Marketing Superstars podcast include:
- The challenges and opportunities that face CMOs today and how to address them (3:18)
- Six reasons why brands fail (5:54)
- How to win over CEOs and convince them to think strategically about the brand (7:30)
- Why employees are as important as customers when it comes to brand-building (9:21)
- The danger in breaking your brand promise, and how to undo the damage (13:16)
- How to create a brand promise that doesn’t get diluted as a company moves into new markets (19:33)