Jon Christoph Berndt®

Brand Development

Takes Time and Is Not Democratic

In successful brand development there is one overriding principle when involving colleagues: as many as necessary and as few as possible. A small circle from different hierarchical levels and departments and a diversity of perspectives will ensure powerful results and increase the acceptance of the outcome. Only then is the brand development worthwhile.

Brand development is vital to a company. A powerful brand avoids negative developments in advance and does extraordinary good in terms of substance, growth, satisfaction, sales, and profits. Too many opinions during the brand development make it vague and fickle, they make the vision weak and inconsistent. On the other hand, the early integration of the right people is an essential requirement for the brand rollout (i.e. when it turns into marketing). It ensures that everyone cooperates, everyone contributes, and eventually every employee becomes a brand ambassador. If you get this right, employees are proud to work for the company. From that point on, the brand promise will be fulfilled at the moments of truth. The prospective customer turns into a real consumer, and the negotiator is not just a haggler. And the heart triumphs over the mind.

Further success factors in the brand development: "brand" is not a subfield of corporate communications, the brand management must be at least an equal partner alongside corporate communications. Otherwise, implementation comes before substance. Internal must come before external. Only when the employees are excited and aware that it is their responsibility to live the brand and make it real—only then can you present it to the outside world. Brand development is a top priority: whoever wants to build and manage a brand successfully and sustainably must act in its best interests. A former German railway executive Hartmut Mehdorn who tells the gathered press that train journeys lasting longer than four hours are torture, destroys in one go something that was built up with a huge amount of effort and dedication. Ultimately, the brand development depends on collaboration: it should not be completely outsourced to a service provider. Identity arises when those who have helped to develop it set an example. For this reason it is vital that those in positions of responsibility are involved in the process.