Thursday, November 19, 2009

Organizational Diagnosis for Brand Management

For effective brand building to be accomplished the first important stage is understanding our clients unique organizational structure. Looking at the organization from the perspective of how all its various parts, constituents and stakeholders align to ensure a properly functioning enterprise is essential step one.

We cannot provide useful counsel on brand for internal audiences or others if we fail to see the unique profile of organizational structure. In retrospect some large organizations like federal departments have expansive profiles with whole communities of employees working interdependently toward defined mandates. Our engagement with Service Canada gave us a genuine understanding of the unique attributes of large scale brand programs. We have engaged with Not for Profits that have a volunteer base who comprise of a core group of stakeholders. This same organization has board oversight, with a CEO who also deals with governance from public regulatory officials, the clients “customers” are accredited organizations registered and legally obliged to utilize our client under the regulatory regime. Other parties contribute to the functioning of the organization all of this toward ensuring outcomes and advancement of the Not for Profits organizational goal. I use this specific example to define for readers the degree to which we have to respond and carefully navigate with all the players toward successful outcomes in brand leadership. The example provided is not unique when entering into new business models and lack of understanding of the make up of the organization prior to launching into brand management is at the consultant’s peril.

A good cross section of clients engage us with less complex management and stakeholder profiles but frequently we do diagnostic assessments of organizational structure and dynamic prior to getting down to essential planning and strategy. We are prepared then to sell the “change”, which is why we’re being paid the big bucks in the brand business. From the outside this missive I hope will provide some context for how our task as experts in brand can have some serious logjams and potential barriers. In most cases the client has aligned the organization as a whole and informed the team that something new is underway this creates less resistance to our involvement in leading the charge.

But here is the scoop or the post point. We encounter new opportunities monthly and annually. The cumulative net advantage from moving from one client on to the next client working on a continuum of brand engagements has been extraordinary. Factor the learning and diagnostic focus done for one company and what you gain from studying that model. Take that over many companies over a decade and you begin to appreciate the big advantage you bring as an expert dealing in complex brand management programs. The understanding and investment as a result of diagnosis of business models over years in the field affords the brand consultant unequalled depth by comparison to staff members or those who have not touched on the variety and expanse of opportunities. The brand consultant’s wealth of experience, great depth and understanding of unique and different business models provides significant advantage to the client who is interested in distinctive, well-defined brand leadership models for their organization.

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