Brandtalk banner 2018.05.jpg

The Brand Lens

A brand strategy is actually an extremely powerful decision-making tool for management. And senior executives should be using that tool to help with every decision. All too often, after a business successfully completes a branding or re-branding initiative, they roll it out, throw a party and then forget all about it. “Hey, the new logo is out there, right? Let Marketing run with it.” With this kind of attitude, is isn’t long before their brand is in the weeds again.

I’ve heard Steve Jobs really hated the words “branding” and “marketing”. He believed those functions should not be segregated from the rest of the company. Rather, they should permeate every aspect of the business and literally be built into the product. Thus, his obsession with design, user friendliness and customer experience. And it may seem ironic but, actually, it is because of his approach, Apple is unsurpassed in branding and marketing. Your brand is too valuable to be left to the Marketing department alone, no matter how good those guys may be.

Jay Gould is a turnaround specialist responsible for the success stories of American Standards, Newell Rubbermaid, Graco and Pepperidge Farm. Gould is first to say that his triumphs come, in large part, from “viewing all … decisions through the Brand Lens”. What is the Brand Lens? It’s the vantage you get by asking how each management decision you make will affect your brand. Keep in mind by “brand” here is defined as your relationship with your market.

Imagine your company is facing a significant strategic decision such as: Shall we move manufacturing to a different state? You’ll have a lot of tools to help you make that decision. These may include financial models, operational considerations, workforce availability, etc. But before you pull the trigger on the deal, take a moment to view the choice through your Brand Lens. Ask yourself if saying yes or no to this decision will help you keep your brand promise or if it will contribute to a drift away from that commitment.

If you have a strong brand strategy – one that you believe in – then, by all means, make the decision that will do the most to help you keep your brand promise. Never do anything that will make it more difficult to do so.

And if you don’t have a strong brand strategy … you won’t have access to this powerful strategic tool. Time to see about getting one.

Look at the leading companies in every market sector. They all use the Brand Lens as a decision-making guide.

The Brand Lens can be applied to less critical decisions too. Case in point: a loading dock worker who left his post to help a customer find his destination within the factory. He fell behind on his schedule but he turned the customer into a life-long brand champion.

The Brand Lens – everyone in the whole company should learn how to use it. But it’s absolutely essential for senior management.


What Brand Loyalty Looks like Today
The pandemic put brand loyalty under enormous stress.

GLOBAL 500 2021 – The Annual Report on the Most Valuable and Strongest Global Brands
It took five years, but Apple finally regained the top spot. Who did it dethrone?

Interview: How Motivation Theory Can Build Brand Loyalty, with Aline Holzwarth, Behavioral Scientist
More acknowledgement that we buy on emotion, then find rationales for the decision.

How Associated Memorable Moments Drive Brands
Your customer touch points form a chain of moments that build on each other.

McDonald’s Sets Targets to Diversify its Leadership, Seeks Gender Parity by 2030
McDs sees the light and prepares its brand for a successful future.

Apple, Nissan Talks on Building Autonomous Car Ended After Disagreement on Branding
Why would anyone sacrifice the firm’s most valuable asset?

6 Factors Behind Lasting Behavior Change
Some changes are momentary, some are forever.

Sign up – Brandtalk

Best Branding Reads
Week of April 12, 2021

Building A Values-Based Competitive Advantage
We see more of it every day. Consumers pushing brands to reflect their values.

Why Are Brands No Longer Keeping Their Guidelines Under Lock and Key?
Why did they insist on keeping them secret in the first place?

4 Timely Rules For Hotel Brand Strategy
Pandemic-slammed industries “FACE” their new reality.

How to Build Brand Awareness Using Customer Support
Serve your current customers well and turn them into enthusiastic brand ambassadors.

Did Target steal this Black creator’s branding?
Uh oh, Target. This does not reflect well on you.

Country as a Brand – The Case of Slovenia
Sharing this in memory of my beautiful Slovenian grandmother.

Moving Beyond Owned, Earned And Paid Media
Shift your mindset from “campaigns” to “data exchanges”.