What is brand? Conventional and popular thinking defines brand through the lens of external stakeholders. Brand is identified, assessed and valued based on the perceptions built around a firm’s business offerings and market signals. It is also referred to in terms of the visual identity representing the company – its Logo, TradeMark, Taglines etc.
Institution Design Group believes that all the above are external ‘expressions’ of a firm’s image. It is a projection of the firm’s claim to what it stands for and the quality of its products and services. We believe true brand lies within the deep recess of an enterprise.
We define BRAND as reflection of the ‘Spirit of Enterprise’. It is created, built and nurtured through the collective conscience of the enterprise ecosystem. It is based on internal ‘impressions’ that a firm systematically and consciously accumulates over long periods of time. Brand represents the unseen fabric of an institution and is best reflected through its culture, identity and character. These are built through great sensitivity, sensibilities and unwavering commitment to excellence, endurance and evolution.
From a value creation perspective, Brand represents the inner potential of an institution. It is far more valuable than the external expressions that broader market seek to assign. Brand defines the way of thinking that seeks to positively impact policies, processes and practices of an institution. These are most effectively captured through the Institution Design framework that exemplifies the core purpose and objectives of an institution.
An enterprise defines its Brand Attributes through a combination of its Purpose, Identity, Conscience and Competencies. Any institution that does not complete this quadrant in a meaningful and effective way will fail to have an enduring Brand Equity.
Institution Design Group believes the most effective way to reflect the Brand Philosophy of an enterprise is to capture its attendant Excellence, Value Creation and Institution Design principles. Our worldview is that brands are best captured, processed and assimilated through a unified framework – the UniBrand Framework that defines the Brand Architecture & Blueprint of an institution.
At Institution Design Group, it is our considered opinion the collective brand strength and essence of an enterprise is best captured through the revolutionary approach to brand attribute and definition – the UniBrand Framework.
UniBrand Framework takes a deep dive into the internals of an enterprise and takes a composite view of its core objectives, architecture and identity. These attributes are forged together to present a collective and combined dimension of the brand architecture of institution. UniBrand Framework approached brand attributes and design principles with long term orientation, enduring value creation and establishing a culture of excellence.
Leadership is faced with complex and demanding business environment. It is in times of great challenges and difficulties that institutions and by extension their brands are put through strenuous existential tests. Great brands, especially during difficult times, are able to reach deep into their inner core to re-establish their credentials, purpose, direction and substance.
Brand Philosophy at the very essence is about determining the brand definitions, attributes, objectives and its applicability that collectively establish institution Brand Equity and its potential. Too often enterprises fall into the trap of complacency assuming their brand continues to prosper and grow in vacuum. That once the hard work has been put in terms of establishing Brand Equity, it is expected management of it becomes easier.
In this context, leadership and management are advised to design advanced Brand Equity management principles. It is imperative to clearly outline expectations of brand definition, development and deployment on an ongoing basis. More often than not, decisions driving brand promotion and usage are constructed around the principles of ‘brand renting’.
If recipient entities / departments / SBUs fail to ensure brand accretion and are unable to deposit incremental Brand Equity in the central brand pool, it leads to promoting a culture of ‘brand tax’. Brand tax is about paying a charge in the form of royalty to parent company with a view to derive benefit from its Brand Equity and association. This results in creation of a ‘compliance mindset’ wherein recipient leadership is motivated to subscribe only to the theory of meeting minimum threshold of brand usage, instead of driving brand excellence.
Institution Design Group instead believes in a revolutionary approach wherein through a process of regular and bi-directional conversation, leadership on both sides design brand usage framework to establish a culture of ‘commitment mindset’. So instead of complying with minimum brand governance principals through payment of ‘brand tax’, enterprises should advocate affirmative principles of contributing ‘brand dividend’. Brand Dividend payout occurs when recipients of brand equity are encouraged to deliver greater value to the central brand pool through continuous and rigorous brand value creation.
Leadership and management need to be careful, cautious and conservative in the management and sharing of institution Brand Equity. Brand Equity is not about creating entitlements – it is about defining and assuming responsibility as well as accountability. It is about being consciously made aware of the higher trusteeship and stewardship practices when considering sharing institution Brand Equity.
Brand Philosophy is the guiding framework that supports leadership in continuously building and managing their brands. The underlying principles of Brand Philosophy are about maintaining and managing Brand Equity of an enterprise on a proactive basis with deep sense of urgency. Brand Philosophy defines the blueprint for continued deployment, usage, management and evolution of the enterprise brand.