From our Brand Performance Study research, we know that there’s a clear correlation between how well brands are organised and how well they, and their businesses, perform. Clearly, brands are an organisation’s most valuable intangible asset and sustainable management of these assets – also when in a portfolio – is key.

Obviously, this raises the question: How do you organise your brand?

Whether you’re ready or not, your business is being disrupted, which has impact on all aspects of your brand, including how it is organised and managed. As discussed in our book Future-Proof Your Brand, we’ve seen that some of the key innovations that challenge and change the way business work are:

– 5G: fifth-generation wireless standard
– AI/ML: artificial intelligence and machine learning
– IoT: Internet of Things
– VR/AR/MR: virtual, augmented, and mixed reality

The main consequences of these new technologies for an organisation and its branding are:

– Increased transparency – inside is outside
– Continuous change – requiring an agile organisational set-up
– Full availability of data – providing more real insight than ever (that is, when unleashed and utilised properly)
– Constantly emerging new brand experiences – providing new opportunities to disrupt traditional customer and company journeys

In addition to these technological changes, we see more often that brands communicate with audiences through a dialogue, whereas in the past it was much more about policing and controlling the brand, using one-way communication. Today, we’re helping many brands to understand how this changing paradigm impacts their brand organisation. The graph below quite clearly demonstrates the paradigm-shift.

Another interesting trend that we noticed during our study is that there has been a shift of focus from brand consistency to placing more emphasis on coherence. Instead of policing all brand assets, safeguarding that everything looks a certain way, brands are moving more towards ensuring that all brand assets make stakeholders feel the same way. They do this through community thinking and dialogues. One big exception to this new trend is Apple, the most valuable business in the world, which has become very successful through the use of well-managed, and yes, controlled branding and brand organisation.

The question of how to create a future-proof brand organisation comes up frequently in conversations with clients. Effectively, it’s a matter of identifying how one would like to be organised tomorrow, and comparing it with where one is today. Scoping out the difference will give you a clear gap analysis that can then be translated into a roadmap, and subsequent budget requirements for improvement.

Most brands have not yet embarked on this journey and one thing is clear: any brand that has not yet mobilised itself and begun assessing where they want to be in three years’ time, will soon be off-trend and out of fashion. We’re not living in an era where standing still is the recipe for success!