The agency recently carried out a study with 120 organizations across twenty business sectors in North America, Canada, Western Europe, Asia and Oceania, in a bid to gain stronger fact-based insights on how organizations are aligned behind a clearly defined brand coherent strategy.
According to SL president Jean-Pierre Lacroix, as companies continue to define how they provide value to the marketplace, it will be important that greater focus be put on brand coherence and the steps to ensure brand alignment.
“Brand coherence is a powerful tool that creates greater alignment towards a common goal and vision for organisations,” he says.
“And although creating better efficiencies has been the mantra for corporations weathering the last recession and providing shareholders greater returns on investment, leveraging the efficiencies of marketing and employee engagement seems to have been lost in the focus,” he adds.
‘Few organizations are able to distil their brand’s unique value into easy to remember’
Lacroix reveals the study found respondents to have clearly identified a significant lack of strong brand cohesion, with only 38 per cent of companies having a high level of brand integration within their organization.
“We also identified a gap within the brand positioning structure with only half of respondents clearly articulating their company’s brand essence,” he adds.
This, the president says supports SL’s premise regarding effective translation of the complexity of a brand position; “few organizations are able to distil their brand’s unique value into easy to remember, simple to understand and focused messaging.”
The findings also reflected a fair representation of the type of brand portfolios within organizations. When asked about the type of brand portfolio structure, more than 51 per cent indicated a branded house (i.e. BMW) structure with the remaining respondents equally split between a house of brands (i.e. P&G) and branded divisions (i.e. Apple).
Six easy steps to ensure brand coherence
Based on these findings, Shikatani Lacroix has therefore outlined the following rundown of six key steps as essential for brands looking to better connect with the consumer.
1: Establish consistent industry metrics to evaluate the contribution of your brand
2: Ensure master brand linkage
3: Fill the brand essence gap
4: Align all activities around the brand coherence loop
5: Brand from the inside out versus the outside in
6: Clearly align your brand pillars to key strategic imperatives
For a more detailed view of these steps, please see here.