The fundamental challenge that we have when applying reason to the subject of brand is that great brand is great emotion. And this gives us a dichotomy, which is neatly summed up in a strategic principle that I apply called, 'Making Thinking Visible.' Without the rational, in-depth, analytical, left-brain approach, it is hard to have the right positioning and messaging associated with a brand in a creative, emotional space.
Regular readers of Five may recall the sorry tale of the demise of (fictional) technology brand CTC (‘CleverTechCo’), dumped unceremoniously by new owners MBA (‘MegaBuyAll’). Through poor brand management, compounding confused direction and leadership, a proud, engaged and vibrant group of people had withered to become a nondescript division of the corporate monolith. This was M&A at its worst. What a shame; what a waste.
In 2012, private equity interest, foreign buyers, shale plays and proposed tax changes drove M&A activity in the US oil & gas industry to a 10-year high (PwC US, 2013). It’s not surprising then that energy, mining and utilities continue to dominate global M&A activity.
Whenever you see or hear the word strategy, an adjective or qualifier is often attached. There’s corporate strategy, marketing strategy, communications strategy and PR strategy. Occasionally strategy is relegated to role of adjective itself. ‘Strategic visions’ compete with ‘visionary strategies’ for our attention. Add in a soupçon of ‘mission’ and a drizzle of ‘values’ and what have you got? Confusion, probably. The winners are the gurus, with books and seats to sell; the losers are those on the end of the message. Just what is it that you are saying to me? What am I supposed to do next?