NEW YORK (8 February 2017) — A revolution has begun. The old command-and-control way of managing brands is being overthrown. To address the realities of today’s hypercompetitive, complex marketplace, Landor, the global branding and design firm, has developed a new playbook: The Brand Community Model. In this new world, multiple communities, including employees, partners, third-party influencers, and superfans, are actively encouraged to become involved in a brand’s management.
Landor spent the last year interviewing more than 20 Fortune 500 companies, identifying best practices and speaking with industry insiders to better understand the challenges facing brand governance today. The agency then assembled a panel of senior executives from six of the world’s top brands to co-create this resilient and flexible way to govern brands.
In the Brand Community Model, two sacrosanct practices are debunked: treating all audiences the same and considering all brand expressions equally. Three levels of communities that play a major role in shaping a brand are identified: Experts, Practitioners, and Employees. And, brand expressions are prioritized into:
- The Sacred: elements that fundamentally define the brand and cannot be changed.
- The Interpretative: aspects that can be adapted based on context, market, or geography.
- The Exploratory: characteristics that can be freely adapted to allow more creativity.
“The rigid and carefully controlled era of brand management is over,” said Lois Jacobs, CEO of Landor. “Agility and adaptability are now top predictors of success, giving way to more audiences participating in how a brand is expressed and experienced. Of course in this environment it remains extremely important to preserve the integrity of the brand and ensure it remains true to its purpose. Our Brand Community Model provides the tools to do just that. It’s the next evolution of brand management and will generate more innovation and greater consumer connections with products and services.”
This new approach to brand management demands a willingness to change, particularly among C-suite executives who will need to rethink their assumptions about brands and shift the directions they give their teams. To help put Landor’s Brand Community Model into action, three key principles have been developed:
- Democratize and empower. Everyone, including employees and external partners, should play a role in bringing the brand to life.
- Segment and prioritize. Understand that not all audiences or touchpoints are created equal.
- Be flexible and risk-tolerant. Intuition, rather than prescription, is key to success.
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A global leader in brand consulting and design, Landor helps clients create agile brands that thrive in today’s dynamic, disruptive marketplace. Our work enables top brands—from Barclays to BMW and Tide to Taj—to stand for something while never standing still.
Landor’s branding services include strategy and positioning, identity and design, motion graphics, brand architecture, prototyping, innovation, naming and verbal identity, research and analytics, environments and experiences, engagement and activation, and interactive and media design.
Founded by Walter Landor in 1941, Landor pioneered many of the research, design, and consulting methods that are now standard in the branding industry. Today, Landor has 27 offices in 21 countries, working with a broad spectrum of world-famous brands. Clients include Alcoa, Barclays, Bayer, BBC, BMW, BP, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, FedEx, GE, Kraft Heinz, Marriott International, Pernod Ricard, Procter & Gamble, Samsung, Sony, and Taj Group.
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