Guest blog by Prasad Narasimhan, brandgym Managing Partner for Asia, based in Bangalore.
Drawing on our 20 years of experience on brand vision to action from 200+ projects, we've identified six key factors that can de-rail the execution of your great vision. This is the second post looking at these challenges and suggesting how to overcome them. The posts are again illustrated with cartoon genius from Tom Fishburne.
Problem 4: "Polishing the pyramid"
Too many brand consulting reports are still full of buzzwords, jargon and complex language. Over the years we've seen all shapes and sizes of positioning tool being flaunted as the newest and best, whether they be pyramids, butterflies, pyramids, onions or keys. We sometimes get briefed by brand teams struggling to turn such a positioning tool into action, or those bogged down in word-smithing and "polishing the pyramid".
Solution: we recommend bringing to life the brand "cake" in the form of an inspirational brand story video, and examples of mix execution, with the brand "recipe" positioning tool (in whatever shape you want) as back-up for the core team.
Problem 5: The ticking clock
When visible execution of the vision does not start immediately, senior management can become impatient and start getting too hands on. For example, the CEO may have a new brainwave on how the brand should advertise or the R&D director might propose new product ideas in line with their own agenda. The reality tail wags the vision dog, and you risk seeing your big idea get chipped away bit by bit.
Solution: we suggest the team works on executional ideas during the brand vision project, such as design, activation and communication. This helps brings to life the vision, and also means you end up not only with a strategy but also real ideas. Another trick is to "jump on a running horse", by adopting existing projects in the pipeline that fit with the vision as part of your action plan.
Problem 6: Not invented here
Some brand teams work away by themselves in isolation for weeks or even months, and then present the new vision as a fait accompli to their creative agencies and the broader business team. This can lead to "not invented here" syndrome, as people have not be involved or consulted. Lack of engagement and alignment normally leads to poor execution.
Solution: we insist on including agency partners and other functions right from the start, as they are often brilliant resources and early involvement ensures they buy-in to the vision and are inspired by it to create great work.
In conclusion, turning brand vision into action is tough and many problems can trip you up. However, being aware of the issues in advance and preparing for them can increase your chances of success.
As Vance Havener said, “It is not enough to stare up the steps – we must step up the stairs.”