Management by conviction: improving a brand eligibility, location, flair and positioning

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Published on February 20, 2014

Author: CorporateExcellence

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Emotions are the key of decisions: they are in the beginning and in the end of every relationship. People decide by emotions although they assert by reasons. Is it possible to implement a rigorous and comprehensive approach to manage any kind of brand -person, company, country- with the purpose of helping to put emotions at the apex of its management?
Corporate reputation is a brand’s key; it shows its value and leads to create it by generating favourable behaviours. Regarding reputation, exists that reliable part that is not purely rational, but rather emotional, and from where it is generated a positive or negative perception of any kind of experience.
This document was prepared by Corporate Excellence – Centre for Repuation Leadership and contains references to the statements made by Carlos Sánchez Olea, vice-president of Dircom and president of Atenea Comunicación, at the conference on “Enhancement of a brand, company or country”, organised by Dircom and Atenea Comunicación in Madrid on September 19, 2012.

Insights Strategy Documents I32/2013 Brand Management by conviction: improving a brand eligibility, location, flair and positioning Emotions are the key of decisions: they are in the beginning and in the end of every relationship. People decide by emotions although they assert by reasons. Is it possible to implement a rigorous and comprehensive approach to manage any kind of brand -person, company, country- with the purpose of helping to put emotions at the apex of its management? Corporate reputation is a brand’s key; it shows its value and leads to create it by generating favourable behaviours. Regarding reputation, exists that reliable part that is not purely rational, but rather emotional, and from where it is generated a positive or negative perception of any kind of experience. Management by conviction According to Carlos Sánchez Olea, vice president of the Spanish Association Dircom and president of the Atena Comunicación agency, emotions -essential to created expectation, generated perception, achieved reputation and public obtained positioning- play a key role in convincing the stakeholders when preferring, selecting or recommending a brand, at the time of investing, purchasing or working for any of them. Brands want to convince and offer the best of them in order to achieve the market share and the trust of costumers, but; are brands at the best position to do so if they do not take into account all the important variables to be considered in the relation with stakeholders? Current models of brand management are often linear, partial and disintegrated, while the reality is increasingly complex, global and relational. That gap between models and realities ends up producing significant confusion when effectively and coherently managing brand value. Dircom vice president and president of Atena Comunicación agency, Mr Sánchez de Olea, takes a This document was prepared by Corporate Excellence – Centre for Repuation Leadership and contains references to the statements made by Carlos Sánchez Olea, vice-president of Dircom and president of Atenea Comunicación, at the conference on “Enhancement of a brand, company or country”, organised by Dircom and Atenea Comunicación in Madrid on September 19, 2012.

Management by conviction: improving a brand eligibility, location, flair and positioning chance on management by conviction. According to him, it adds coherence by bringing together all the key elements (operational, behavioural, communication, emotional, competence and organizational) that make the value and meanings that any brand can provide. Decisions made by stakeholders are used to choose but increasingly to legitimate or not organizations, countries or leaders, to confer naturalization papers and assign a socially responsible and acceptable behaviour by society when is for the benefit of everyone. The management by conviction approach favours the connected understanding among all the key variables involved in a brand. They are presented all together and they complete and show how the modification or variation of any of them has a direct effect on the rest when achieving the aims set in each case. ‘Corporate reputation is not an corporate image issue, but something that directly affects brand value creation and risk management in its reactive/ preventive aspect’ Eligibility, location, positioning and flair Emotions are visualized; they are specified in values, behaviour, perceptions, expectations, comparisons and references. The obtained benefits when properly managed and enhanced are clear: • • • • • • • Operational: functional. Tangible: implementation. Intangible: recognition. Significant: differentiation. Reputational: prevention or promotion. Competence: flairs and attitudes. Provisional: anticipation and response. In this way, brand equity is the most important benefit. According to Sánchez Olea, every benefit of the list can be achieved when displayed and applied to a methodology that integrates four key and interrelated elements: 1. Eligibility: a brand generates features according to the activity, the product/service, competitors or the market, as well as the value that carries, and the interest and emotions. All these make the brand eligible and/or being legitimated to their stakeholders. The aim is to convince. 2. Emotional location: an affective space where a brand is located and characterized. This is achieved through convenient public positioning suited to the stakeholders. The aim is to choose. 3. Public positioning: functional, commercial and reputational characteristics of a brand depending on its occupation, notoriety, intended position, industry, stakeholders and competitors. The aim is to differentiate. 4. Competitive flair: ability to sell; functional efficiency depending on the structure and organization, line of business, stakeholders, functional efficiency, competitors and market. The aim is to sell. However, before all that, a brand has to be eligible, different and convincing, because competition is no longer just sales or capitalization, but behaviour and value creation. When a brand is bought is legitimated, therefore, you buy it when it is legitimated for you. Managing is no longer to create products and services, but behaviours and reputations. Graph 1: The six stages of the management by conviction process 6. Brand equity 1. Eligibility diagnosis 5. Status report 4. Map of risks and contingency plan 2. Public positioning 3. Organization competences Source: Adapted from Carlos Sánchez Olea, 2012. Insights 2

Management by conviction: improving a brand eligibility, location, flair and positioning The six stages of the management by conviction process of a brand are as follows: 1. Eligibility diagnosis. 2. Public positioning. 3. Organization competences. 4. Map of risks and contingency plan. 5. Status report. 6. Brand equity. The role of communication The dual management of corporate reputation Reactive or proactive, that is the question: corporate reputation can be used as a shield, as well as a spear. In the first case, two aspects can be distinguished: 1. Reactive management of a brand reputation leads costumers to a defensive behaviour in critical situations: traditional crisis plans. 2. Preventive management of a brand corporate reputation leads costumers to something much more useful and smart, since it can make costumers overcome or not to face those critical situations; in this case, we refer to the risk maps analysis and follow up (operational , commercial and reputational), contingency plans (strategic action design for risks managing, for responsibilities assumption as a result of improper acts of the organization, unanticipated events or accidents) and research with stakeholders. Proactive management of the corporate reputation take us to a very different scenario, that is, Communication plays a very important role in this process. It transfers information (commercial, behavioural, emotional, institutional, reputational, internal and external) to the stakeholders and generates a specific goal (to sell, be eligible, convince, introduce, influence, motivate and differentiate). However, communication cannot and should not replace the role of management in achieving the corporate reputation of a brand. Communication should strengthen the equity of a brand and it should add when convincing stakeholders about its value. Therefore, the new Chief Communications Officer (CCO) is not only someone who manages the communication itself, but adds and consistently aligns the process of which he is the manager as well. But above all the CCO is the eligibility, location, positioning and flair supervisor. At the same time, the new CCO is responsible of the brand value and its corporate reputation, as well as its communication, always with the aim described above of achieving the fullest conviction of stakeholders. Strategic Graph 2: Analytics – The Key to ROI from Social Media Customer Segmentation Marketing Messaging/SEO Analytics Campaign Measurement Market Research Sentiment Analysis Product Research Interactive Buying Lead Generation Product Innovation Comtetitive Tracking Customer Support Brand Protection Influencer Marketing Tactical ‘Management by Conviction enables to manage both tangible and intangible actives and brand relations with its stakeholders’ relations promotion and actions implementation that contribute and give sense to the brand, its values, meanings and attributes. In this way, corporate reputation is not a matter of corporate image, it directly affects the creation of brand value and the risk management in its reactive/ preventive aspect. Reactive Proactive Source: Networked Insights, 2010. Insights 3

Management by conviction: improving a brand eligibility, location, flair and positioning Conclusion: an integrated model of brand management It is not a possibility but a responsibility to provide those new competences in order to improve the corporate reputation and value depending on its industry, market and competitors. A brand has to be convenient and convincing, that is to say, a brand should be a better option when buying, investing or working. Nowadays, the corporate reputation is the most important attribute of a brand for convincing stakeholders. Diagnostic, analysis, measuring and compering tools are necessary for an optimal corporate reputation management. In order to do this, Management by Conviction is the tool that both enables and manages tangible and intangible actives, and the relation between brands and their stakeholders. Be elected and trusted by those who matter is what any brand wants to get; exciting and convincing are the instruments to achieve it. Insights 4

Leading by reputation ©2013, Corporate Excellence - Centre for Reputation Leadership A foundation established by major companies aiming to excel in the management of intangible assets and facilitate promotion of strong brands with a good reputation and a capacity to compete on the global markets. Our objective is to become the driving force, which would lead and consolidate professional reputation management as a strategic asset, fundamental for building value of companies around the world. Disclaimer This document is a property of Corporate Excellence – Centre for Reputation Leadership developed with an objective to share business knowledge about management of reputation, brand, communication and public affairs. Corporate Excellence - Centre for Reputation Leadership is the owner of all rights related to the intellectual property on images, texts, drawings or any other content or elements of this product. Corporate Excellence - Centre for Reputation Leadership is the holder of all necessary permissions for the use of the document and therefore any reproduction, distribution, publishing or modification of the document without its express permission is prohibited.

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