15 February 2006

Branding 2.0 – The Role of the Brand

Building on the Branding 2.0 series - which began with my posting from February about the branding landscape - I'd like to address the role of the brand in this posting. The role of the brand is to give strategic purpose and meaning to value creation.

Identifying the role of the brand in an organization can depend on who’s responsible for the strategic development of the business. I use the brand as the instrument or tool for value creation by using it to organize the relationships in the business into value networks. I also use the brand as a tool for engaging people in the business of building strategy, so that people take paternity for the creation and development of that strategy. This is a proprietary methodology - Applied Connective Dynamics - that delivers the content for a branded identity network formula.
The brand represents the culture of the organization – the spirit in which people engage with one another and create value. This may not always be reflected in the brand’s business organization. Communities outside of the brand’s business may use the brand in another way to serve their own purpose. In this way, the brand plays a different role for that particular community. This can benefit the business of the brand. It can also be detrimental. Case in point: European Neo-Nazi youth picked up the Lonsdale brand as their clothing uniform, and others stopped by buying it. The brand had taken on a life of its own outside the business before anyone inside the business made a strategic.

Social media has created new worlds and organizational networks around brands that exist outside the business network. In order to capture the value of the brand – and track how other communities use the brand – the business organization has to find new ways of capturing the value created in these worlds where their brand plays a role.

Social media can also play an integral role here for the business – if the people managing the brand’s value network identify this as a strategic path. It’s a different way of thinking about the brand and working with it - tracking its behavior through search engines and building a value network visualized by mapping technology and kept up to date using RSS. The brand has a life of its own – what are the possibilities!

Next time, I’m going to explain the difference between the brand, its operational system and its business model.

Here are some previous blogs that support this series on branding:
Give the brand a job to do
The Spirit of the Business
Conscious Brand - The Nature of Brands
The Conscious Brand - The Physics of Branding
Part 2. The Conscious Brand - The Physics of Branding
The Birth of a Business School Alumni Brand

No comments: