Value of Branding
Most consultants and change agents will agree that giving a critically important project a common, bland, functional name, is OK for record keeping purposes. But if it is desirable for a larger part of the organization to take note of the changes and improvements undertaking by the work group… then the project must be effectively branded.
Most of the Super Team projects we have been asked to deliver, have served as excellent examples of the internal marketing value of branding the project. Each project activity will become more effective if it is branded with a name and tag line that is meaningful to all participating teams. Why?
The brand helps create a binding identity for which all Super Team participants can mutually identify. This is sometimes called the “boot camp effect”. This loosely translates into, “We did this hard work together – and it has paid off nicely for the effort.” And as a result of Super Teams workshops and associated program, the program participants now feel they are…
- Better prepared,
- Bonded with our teammates and partners
- Confident we can handle situations which formerly created conflict and negativity between teams
- Able to produce much-improved outcomes for our company
- Each more personally satisfied with our contribution to the overall effort
Examples of Past Brands – for highly successful programs
NOTE that in each of the following case the brand name was developed by workshop participant teams, working with the project consultant team. It is true that in most cases, the brand name eventually determined for the project was given considerable thought and testing before the final decision was made.
For expediency, the 7 examples provided here have been given only small, bulleted highlights of some of the key notions associated with the brand and its corresponding project. Give us a note if you want to know more…
1. SOS Project:
- This project provided a process, work-flow, and rules of engagement for substantially improving the effectiveness of working together by the Sales, Delivery, and IT teams in a large international data center.
- It initially was formally branded the SOS Project, as an acronym for “Sales-Operations Success“
- Upon implementation, this same project informally gained the coffee-urn acronym interpretation… SOS = “Save Our Sales”; sales productivity had been sagging, and it had been believed this was due to poor response by the org… except each team blamed the other two for the reason for the lack of success
- The informal acronym meaning was not planned – it came about from the troops, many of whom were not even involved directly in the project.
- Thus this brand actually gained its own additional power, and the brand became a focus for the whole organizational rallying effort.
2. Leadership for Results [LFR]:
- Brand name for a global internal partnering program calling for specific teams, focused on critically important business problems – come together under the Super Team cross-functional model to assure successful execution of solutions to internal critically pressing issues
- Referred to the point that leadership in business, is not for power, admiration, prestige or privilege… but actually to realize concrete outcomes that serve the business (not the individual managers)
- Although kind of cliché, this brand had tremendous meaning to these teams, who had labored under a business “Aristocracy” management model for 20+ years
- The key meaning of the brand, referred to past history, where many leaders insisted on being treated like royalty due to their position in the company, not because of their results… many of whom were actually lousy, ineffective managers.
3. First Choice Partner
- Brand name representing the actual tag line of the corporate advertised goal, “We want to be your first choice partner for… <the company’s marketed services>”
- Referred to a specific partnering program involving the Sales Team and specific Customers [similar to Delivering the Promise]
- In this case, the targeted partners were the customers that were the most publicly critical of our client’s services – representing potential marketplace negativity, etc.
- This program played on the cognitive dissonance principal, that if the formerly critical customer became a public advocate of our client, then the win was substantially more powerful in terms of market impact
- This particular project produced one of the most remarkable results in the company’s 50+ year history… in which a group of Customers offered our client an unprecedented array of free resources and thought leadership in helping our Client dominate the region in which the Customers operated.
4. Delivering the Promise:
- Brand name for a partnering program involving Sales Teams and specific Customers
- Referred to the sales & delivery teams actually giving the customer what they ordered – but included the promise of surpassing expectations
- Under this program, the Company [our client] brought Sales and Sales Support Teams together with Customer Teams to jointly plan and action our client delivery of products and services to their Customer.
- This was a highly unique program at the time in our Client’s industry.
- None of its competitors physically involved their customers in highly structured sales planning events in which the customers actually forecast — well in advance — their anticipated purchases over the upcoming 2-5 years!
5. WinManagement Program:
- Brand for a full cycle, sales, solution, delivery process for major deals – with minimum of three teams [sic.] from each sector in planning process of each and every deal
- This brand alluded to the idea that winning was simply a part of managing the process – we have control, if we execute, we will win… end of story.
- The brand name came from actual field survey with focus group-type inputs and evaluations of branding
- NOTE: the brand reinforced the historic track record of this particular selling approach for large, complex sales, which included a 92% win ratio over the previous 5 years
6. Co-Op Project
- Brand name was giving to represent Central Office Operations, for an international security services company
- There was a historically critical relationship between certain departments within world headquarters and a specific field operational site — that the Co-Op project sought to improve.
- This brand logo implied that relationships between HQ and the filed operations needed greater coordination, harmony, mutual respect, and that HQ needed to more strongly consider the good ideas coming from the field.
- The Co-Op team actually ended up producing its own newsletter that over a 2 year period became acclaimed as the most popular field-generated internal communications piece in the 100+ year history of this international company
7. CRB Partners
- Brand name for a Super Team program between three regional government law enforcement agencies having different but overlapping roles in anti-terrorism law enforcement – CRB stood for “Catch the Rat B@$#^rds”
- Sensitivities for classified information prohibit us from revealing much about this one, but the Super Team model was used to address inter-agency cooperation and improved cross-functional communication
- The specific solution we offered provided tangible processes and reminders of the ultimate purpose of the joint mission – keeping their combined purpose always in the forefront
- The attending senior officers were so impressed with the Super Team approach and immediate results, at the end of the first workshop we were invited back for a refresher within 6 months.
- The agencies involved went on to accomplish outstanding results in improved inter-agency cooperation – and subsequent landmark arrests between the 3 agencies.
- To be clear, we make no claims whatsoever that our Super Team program made any contribution to the success of these agencies in anti-terrorism. We were simply asked to delivery the concept. We did that.
This is a fascinating topic, this branding stuff. It is often overlooked by companies undertaking significant change. We are willing to treat this topic with greater depth and breadth in this blog, if the readers indicate an interest.