Category — Brand Building

Can Trust in a Brand Be Revived?

Wells Fargo logoThe question is… can trust be revived in a brand that is seriously damaged? Almost every year there are brands that amaze us with incredible stupidity… mostly generated by a drive for bigger sales numbers. Volkswagen not only misled consumers and dealers about emissions and gas mileage claims, but
tried to make it a small and inconsequential issue until investigators uncovered an ever-growing circle of management and leaders who actually knew exactly what was going on. [Read more →]

September 30, 2016   Comments Off on Can Trust in a Brand Be Revived?

Stories are the Building Blocks for Professional Service Firm Branding

Brands are ultimately about meaning. Stories are the building blocks of meaning. And stories that connect your brand with a fundamental human need can help you build a powerful bond with your clients.

images

In our experience, this is as true for management consultants, accountants, law firms and architects as it is for carmakers, technology manufacturers, fashion designers and food brands. The difference is that while we have long accepted that emotional connection can drive consumer purchases, we like to think that business-to-business purchases are driven entirely by cold reason. They are not.

We have spent many years interviewing C-suite executives who purchase professional services. Sometimes one firm has a “silver bullet”, a tool or insight or method that nobody else has, so the choice is obvious. It happens, but it’s vanishingly rare (and quickly copied).

More often, clients have to choose between firms that have very similar offerings, people and approaches. So how do they pick? We have found that they make choices based on the story the brand tells them… the story that the brand allows them to tell about themselves.

Certain narrative patterns or storylines tend to recur within particular categories of professional services firms. The table below illustrates a few of the story patterns we often see in our work with these firms.

StroyLine TableCredit: Archetypal story patterns based on Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With A Thousand Faces, and Carol Pearson’s The Hero And The Outlaw

Each of these narrative patterns enables a brand to evoke and address a deep human need, even when offering an abstraction such as professional advice. And each of these stories can be told in a multitude of different ways.

By understanding these patterns, a professional service firm can drive differentiation and preference.

images-1

So how do you discover and then develop your authentic brand story? There are strong clues in your firm’s origin story and in the recurring iconic stories about the firm that your professionals tell themselves. The stories that clients tell about you (and the language they use to tell them) are also powerful sources. In both cases, it takes skilled questioning and astute listening to draw out the truth in the tale.

Once you have discovered the fundamental brand story that reflects the truth of your organization, it can then be developed into compelling market-facing messages, woven through all your communications and crucially, embedded in the culture of the firm and the behavior of your people.

August 7, 2015   Comments Off on Stories are the Building Blocks for Professional Service Firm Branding

Mean Something If You Want To Matter

Mean Something If You Want To Matter

Any brand that endures and stands out from the pack does so by connecting with a fundamental human need.

Professional services firms, which deal with abstractions and intangibles, can begin to build and leverage this deep human connection by first understanding what they stand for – what they intend to mean to their clients and employees.

A powerful, authentic brand captures and signals the underlying human images-2meaning in your business – the thing that sets you apart and makes you matter to your marketplace of potential clients and recruits.

Your brand is therefore a strategic business issue, way more profound than issues like name, logo, tagline, or visual style. Those are symbolic expressions of the brand, shortcuts to the meaning in the business: they are not the brand itself.

One of the key challenges for a professional services firm is how to encourage clients to have a committed relationship to the organization, not just to the individual consultant. Brand offers a way to do this, by building a shared sense of the meaning in the business, while at the same time enabling individual professionals to express that meaning in a way that is authentic to them.

Our experience helping professional services firms to differentiate and market themselves effectively has helped us identify three key factors that set professional services brands apart:

  • Relationship is the envelope that wraps the client work. Professional services firms need to understand and leverage the emotional value of the client relationship as a key differentiator
  • Attracting and developing talent is as important as attracting and developing clients. Aligning the internal and external brand is crucial
  • Vision, values and beliefs drive the behaviors that convey the brand. Understanding and clarifying these areas is essential to building a meaningful professional services brand.

McKinsey-BCGTake McKinsey and The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the top two global strategy consulting firms. They each recruit similar people from the same set of elite schools, and they each address similar business challenges with similar intellectual tools. And yet clients see real differences and make choices between the two. How and why?

The answer lies in the meaning that both firms have built as they have developed their respective brands. McKinsey has come to mean power and control – the stability and order that enables prosperity. BCG on the other hand, has built its brand meaning around understanding and transformation – the insight that empowers you to change your circumstances for the better. Both are compelling meanings that speak to fundamental human needs, but each appeals to a different client mindset.

These two iconic consulting brands have used narrative and story to create meaning and differentiation as they compete for clients and talent. Our next post will explore how to use story as a tool to differentiate your firm, and to create meaning that attracts the right clients and the right recruits.

 

July 1, 2015   1 Comment

recherche rencontres lyon


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
lieu rencontre bordeaux lac
club de rencontre l’entente
télécharger rencontre avec joe black hd
romandie rencontres
lieu de rencontre paris celibataire
dating femme laval
msg anniversaire de rencontre
site de rencontre entre chomeur
comment devenir prostituée
petites annonces rencontres 94
rencontre lake
site de rencontre israelite
la lande de la rencontre saint aubin du cormier
dvd rencontre avec des hommes remarquables
sortir reims rencontre
china street prostitutes at singapore geylang lor 8 10 12
alaska rencontre quatrieme type
rencontre sezanne
prix des rencontres du mont-blanc
rencontre fille americaine
thomas langmann prostituées
rencontres photo arles 2011 dates
depuis que je te rencontrer
annie rencontres
rencontres skype gratuites
rencontre gratuite en aveyron
rencontres augc 2014
friends ross rencontre emily
rencontres agen
rencontrer renaud
rencontres annonces belgique
prostituée israel
adultère avec prostituée
rencontre avec femmes maghreb
doc gyneco site de rencontre
rencontre sur internet canada
à la rencontre de l’homme qui brûle
rencontre vitré 35
prostitué a domicile liege
rencontre laxou
rencontres regionales autisme
rencontre femme malgache ambilobe
club vacances pour faire rencontres
rencontre nc gratuit
rencontre d’un jour gratuit
carte prostituée lyon
zeblog rencontre
prix abonnement site de rencontre
les rencontres détenus victimes l humanité retrouvée
rencontre boite de nuit
rencontre maroc annonce
date rencontre photo arles 2011
les effets des rencontres
rencontres et debats avignon
site de rencontres points communs
prostitute seattle wa
match rencontres avis
werken als prostituee
al fin te encontre josel y raul mp3
l attente notre rencontre
rencontre francophone liban
rencontres gay 13 ans
meilleur site rencontre amicale
rencontres nora roberts
cécile duteille rencontre
rencontre serieuse vannes
etudiante pour rencontre paris
site de rencontre sourd et muet
rencontre barbizon
bulgaarse prostituees groningen
site de rencontre homme bresilien
igloo rencontre imode
prostituées verneuil sur avre
rencontre celibataire bio
site rencontre pour ado ligne
rencontre femme ahfir
rencontres ado
moi christiane f. 13 ans droguée prostituée film streaming
fiche zone rencontre
rencontre par code postal
la rutina hoy no va a enloquecer ayer me perdi pero hoy me encontre
rencontre sexe haute corse
metz prostituée
rencontre serieuse charente maritime
rencontre convertis
rencontres avec des amis
site de rencontre gratuit sans frais
faux profil site de rencontre
rencontre villefranche de rouergue
quebec rencontre victoriaville
quel site de rencontres est gratuit
nous nous sommes rencontrées en anglais
site de rencontre macedoine
rencontre avec joe black download
site de rencontres street
quand harry rencontre sally amazon
bar rencontres rouen
rencontre fle diffusion
rencontre enrique iglesias
site rencontre nc

May 20, 2015   Comments Off on recherche rencontres lyon

Disney World at $105 a day… How Brands Can Successfully Price Up

The recent announcement about Disney raising admission prices at theme parks to over $100 per day points to an important benefit of very strong brands… they can price higher and maintain upwards momentum.

Brands that provide extraordinary quality and a unique experience have enormous leverage to price higher. Said another way, it is possible to raise prices without much of a consumer push-back.

my-disney-experience

Here’s the rub. In almost every category, where products are essentially at parity, marketers struggle to hold prices, especially when there is a competitor who is willing to cut price to hold on to or grow a franchise. Thus, particularly in highly competitive categories, marketers become hostage to a pricing spiral, and reluctant to take risks or invest. As someone once said, it’s hard to look outside of the swamp when alligators are nipping at you toes. [Read more →]

March 3, 2015   Comments Off on Disney World at $105 a day… How Brands Can Successfully Price Up

Brands Have Become a Critical Factor in Successfully Expanding into the U.S.

High growth globalizing companies often find it difficult and unprofitable to enter the U.S. and other developed markets. To achieve the turnover and ROI they seek, they are finding that it is the brand asset that differentiates an offering and drives higher margins and profitability. Particularly for companies in China, India, Brazil and other high growth countries, successfully expanding their global footprint is an enviable objective, but more difficult to achieve than ever. Many seek to minimize risk and expand with a price entry. However, unless corporations recognize and act upon the importance of building strong “brands”, they will most likely fail to achieve their U.S. objectives.

Mega-trend shift
The mega-trend shift towards high growth market-based companies who have been successful in their home countries trying to expand to the U.S. is based on sound logic:

  • Drive for greater revenues and profits
  • Appeal of the large middle class with strong per capita income
  • High number of diaspora living in the U.S. that often become the first wave of “acceptors”
  • Recognition that the U.S. ensures a stable government and significant economic incentives
  • Access to skilled labor forces, technology, and strong distribution channels.

[Read more →]

October 3, 2014   1 Comment

Why David Brooks Almost has it Right about Brands

David Brooks, an Op-Ed Columnist at the New York Times writes a very interesting article about the differences between the use of and understanding of brands between the Americans and the Chinese. His premise is that the Chinese are not good at building brands that connect with consumers in the West despite the fact that they have the largest economy in the world. This will hinder their achievement of global economic dominance. He is right.

Unknown

However, one of his notions is only partly correct and flies in the face of what great brands work hard at every day. Brooks believes that “People who create great brands are usually seeking some inner longing of their own…”. In this he is thinking about romantic notions of founder-led brands like Nike or Ralph Laruen.

What he is missing is that great business leaders spend a great deal of time and energy to understand their customers and their needs, and then address them in a way that builds an enduring relationship that can last a long time. In most cases it is the diligence and hard work requiredto build stronger relationships with consumers than competitors in every category that leads to sustainable market leadership.

Much of what Brooks writes about is very true, and he is astute to recognize as much as he does. Where he misses the mark is realizing that there is a process and method to establishing and building a strong brand that connects with key audiences that works on it’s own and is not necessarily founder led. Just look at a few minor brands like IBM, General Electric, BMW, New York Yankees, Mayo Clinic, etc. Sure each was founded by great thinkers and leaders, but they have evolved into very strong brands generations past founder longing.

Unknown-1

Congrats to Brooks for recognizing how brand have become an engine of the Western economic growth. His basic premise is more than correct.

May 31, 2013   Comments Off on Why David Brooks Almost has it Right about Brands