Flow Through Branding – Let The Brand Force Be With YouJuly 27, 2009 by: Enogg
If Enogg needs a MacBook Pro tune-up, she boots up the computer in the Apple store and whoosh-bam-boom the Apple silicon bonding phenomena restores vitality to the laptop. Seriously. The computer knows she is amongst her peeps and restores vitality instantly. What is that?
Some Background First
Growing a business, whether a small business or a large corporation, involves vision, planning and execution. A fiscally smart business leader knows that it’s very important to manage variable costs. If the variable costs get out of line, the Profit and Loss Statement can reflect unfavorably on the management team.
Conversely, fixed costs are an easier cost factor to manage. A business owner knows the impact of a fixed cost line item - it’s “fixed” after all and the business leader can plan accordingly. Every business knows the importance of keeping expenses (costs) well below revenue (income) in order to maintain profitability.
You may be wondering what Flow Through Branding has to do with these accounting parameters. You may even be wondering what the heck is Flow Through Branding?
It’s Strategic Marketing
Flow Through Branding is a branding strategy that ensures the brand is recognizable and consistently flowing though every aspect of the business. Branding is not just about the logo and making sure the look and feel is consistent on marketing collateral. Building a successful brand requires a foundation that supports seamless channels so the brand integrity can flow between consumer and the brand. The flow has to be a two way street.
For instance, if you are launching a new marketing campaign, the launch variables should be flowing through each department, division and applicable company subsidiary.
Apple’s Flow Through Branding
Flow Though Branding is the backdrop marketing strategy at Apple Computer. The Apple branding “energy” runs through every aspect of the business. The strategy starts with consumers. The strategy also encourages participation. The flow improves as the company listens to the consumers’ voice and applies valuable insights to the brand model.
The tenants of branding 101 ensure that a consistent look and feel is maintained. Who hasn’t seen the famous Apple commercials? Not only are the ads funny and engaging they also reflect the competitive cultural divide between Apple and Microsoft. Flow Through Branding ensures that the marketing platform has many touch-points. Even the website synergistically features the ads giving greater depth and exposure to the brand.
Apple has fumbled when the charismatic CEO Steve Jobs is not at the helm. His visionary leadership is instrumental in ensuring branding integrity is accomplished. Even when Steve is not there, the strength of the brand is sustained due to the foundation's quality, indicative of Flow Through Branding.
Flow Through Marketing Is Everywhere
Flow Through Branding develops an energy that moves throughout the entire company. It creates evangelical employees. The brand energy is strategically positioned and cascades into each department. You’ll see signs of the brand flowing through administration, manufacturing, accounting, business segments, supply chain, HR, etc.
The brand flows seamlessly throughout the entire company. The brand unites the company with consumers. The flow builds evangelical followers. A successful Flow Through Branding strategy starts with the consumer - flows through each department and remarkably flows right back out to the consumer. The cycle is unbroken and continuous.
The kingpin of Flow Through Branding is that departments, business units and the workforce are united and not separated by silo mentality. Who hasn’t been attracted to Apple’s website or storefronts where an Apple logo is all that is necessary to beacon patrons? The logo-energy speaks volumes.
No Silos Please
Under the leadership of former CEO Carly Fiorina, one of her first mandates at Hewlett-Packard was to eradicate the silo mentality. Silos were crippling the business units and without cross-collaboration and sharing of knowledge Carly Fiorina knew the brand was handicapped. Sure HP had evangelical employees but the brand was not reaching out to consumers in a two-way street. How could HP develop a brand based on consumer input when conflicting priorities sabotaged initiatives? Each business unit was enamored by its “brand” of silo mentality. The brand strategy did not flow seamlessly.
Flow Through Branding Provides Fixed Cost ROI
For a manager with a discerning eye towards fiscal measures, Flow Through Branding will result in a fixed cost that delivers an increased return on investment. The cost of delivering a marketing strategy will yield greater returns by ensuring Flow Through Branding is in place. Leadership will not have silo-mentality upsetting the flow of the branding initiatives and causing greater costs.
Conversely, a business that does not have Flow Through Branding will have uncertainties and hence more variable costs as the brand strategy encounters segmentations and opposing priorities within the company. If the brand initiatives are not working as a cohesive force throughout the company, this can marginalize the strategy as it encounters each business unit wrapped in its silo mentality.
Branding isn’t just about a logo. It’s about building energy and momentum. If done properly, the marketing and advertising budget will provide a respectable ROI and support the business leaders in reaching their goals.
Flow Through Branding strategies will help you get the most out of your budgets and resources. The initiative will take on a branding personality that needs to be fed with a healthy diet from an inspired marketing platform. And just wait, before you know it your brand energy will be so powerful it will miraculously fix any computer coming though the door. Brand energy is real. Let the brand force be with you.
From the Desk of EnoggEggbert