With marketing managers changing every 2 to 3 years, how does one make sure brand knowledge is properly transmitted to the incoming manager and distributors? Nothing hurts more than a manager who does not know the facts about his/her brand, or an amnesiac brand trying to invent things not in line with its purpose. This is a key question, especially for brands such as alcohol beverages where centenary history and performance are at the core their offer.
If a manager is to be a brand champion, the knowledge that counts must help him/her drive the brand ahead. This includes historical facts, founders’ ethos, ownerships, product evolution, marketing programs, investments, launches, results, plans, role in portfolio, etc.
A good Brand Knowledge & Transmission System should help the outgoing manager to share the right information. Also, the incoming manager should be able to feed in that knowledge body and structure it for future use. At the most basic level, this means having well organised folders in the company IT system or cloud, and well kept archives. There are several ways to structure & share knowledge:
1 - Brand Books to show and tell WHO the brand is. Brand Books tell a story, cover the history facts, describe the brand offer, benefits, architecture... Clarity in this document is essential, especially for companies with several brands in similar categories.
Good Brand Books are entertaining and inspiring. In wines, many premium brands have medals, family and estate. So the Brand Book will have to go further to bring to like the brand positioning and unique benefits.
2 - Brand Manuals to describe HOW to work with the brand. They contain strategic elements (audience, channels, pricing, objectives…) and the actual tools to implement, such as identity guidelines, communication and promotion assets…
Brand Manuals act as a reference guides for affiliates, distributors, who often have many brands to manage and immediate results to deliver. So, the clearer a manual, the easier the life of your partners !
A Brand Manual must be directive enough to ensure consistent execution and open enough to encourage good initiatives that can in turn be shared as best practices.
3 - Marketing Academies TRAIN marketing and sales on how to THINK and ACT on the company brands. When organizations become large and spread across several markets, the need for consistent ways of working and communication arise quickly. Good Marketing Academies align the organisation on how to define and build brands,(PR, events, pricing, media…) with a common language.
Marketing Academies are active training sessions backed with documented theory, models, case studies and glossary. The content should regularly be updated with the best marketing thinking. And yes, teaching is part of management and being a good leader, so enjoy it.
In conclusion... Building and maintaining a rich, effective and actionable Brand Knowledge & Transmission System is part of a marketeers' job. It requires time, effort, curiosity and organization. It may not have the same immediacy than “digital” or the excitement of innovation, but is extremely rewarding because this is about understanding the past, working on the present and preparing the future.
If you feel that a strong Brand Knowledge & Transmission System can give your marketing an extra edge, let’s have a conversation on how Brand Reveal’s 20+ years experience can help you assess, design and implement these tools.
Brand Reveal helps brands grow with smart Strategy, Marketing & Commercial development. With a genuine affection for wines & spirits. www.brandreveal.net