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ru ru Employees' lack of brand understanding is costing big brands millions and small brands everything. Karl Treacher looks at a fundamental

flaw behind the demise and underachievement of many brands. OUR biggest challenges in effective branding don't come from the W or T in a SWOT matrix, they come from U and I in the marketing department. Marketers are continuing to make fundamental brand consistency flaws while the brands that get it right disappear into the distance.

Someone once said that to be a good marketer you need to have the presence of mind and ability to communicate a solution that quickly gains acceptance and meets success. However, to be great marketer, this

solution needs to influence market behaviour both in the short and long term. The way to do this is often complicated and will involve a combination of sound analytical thinking, creativity and probably risk taking. 'lnspiring' and 'consistent'. Who would have thought it would be that easy? Well it isn't, and

As soon as a consumer begins to believe in a brand, because of something they saw on W, the internet, or received in their mailbox,

that brand has more to lose with that consumer than ever before. With every consumer belief comes a set of expectations about their experience with that brand. When a brand fails to meet expectations, it risks consumer resentment and brand dissent. This is made significantly worse when the channel responsible is the brand's people, as they are the only communication channel with whom consumers can form a reciprocal and meaningful relationship. When a brand's human face lets a consumer down, it gets very personal. We only need to look at Australia's

graduates and seasoned marketers alike have very little idea about what an 'effective' internal brand acceptance and brand behaviour program looks like. Undervalued Marketing budgets continue to place'sexy stuff' first. That is, conventional channel favourites; anything consumers can 'see, hear or touch'. People development is often either absent or at the bottom of the resource management list regardless of its ability to be 'felt' by consumers.

Uninspiring lnternal communication programs implemented by more aware marketing teams often miss the mark. The development of human capital doesn't fit into a 'campaign'

THE CAUSE

plan. Team 'away days' and all too common conference techniques serve as shallow motivation without scratching the surface of an individual's value paradigm.

Unaware

Unceoperative

THE PROBTEM

Modern marketing focuses heavily on external

Consumers change their behaviour only when they believe in something. The most ingenious marketing idea on the planet won't direct consumer behaviour if the values behind the idea or brand aren't evident or pronounced every time the consumer comes in contact with that brand. Concepts such as 'message-consistent marketing' and'channel marketing management programs' have

communication (award-winning WC, results-

lf the marketing budget won't accommodate people development, other department budgets may. However the conditioned understanding of the sales and HR function again rarely takes responsibility for brand-specific people development. Further, HR departments are renowned for not understanding business issues, and this includes brand imperatives.

companies are losing market share by being uninspiring or even inspiring, yet inconsistent.

recently entered the marketing jargon dictionary to address this issue. Some models go far in co-ordinating and streamlining message consistency, however the most diificult channel to communicate values through is the channel with values of its own: 'The forgotten channel' - people.

A B&T Publication

financial institutions and telcos to see how devastating and ineversible this can be.

driven DM, etc) and so most marketers are either unaware or ill equipped to integrate brand values and behaviour into employees. ln fact most see it as HR's job. While dominant external marketing plans can work in industries such as FMCG where

the brand (or relationship with the customer) involves influencing a customer without any real service element, most industries do have a fac+ to-face or interpersonal component that needs to

See the next issue of Professional Marketing for the second part of this article: The

understand and embrace promoted brand values.

Solutions.

Unqualified Karl Treacher is the managrng partner of

Marketing courses don't educate potential marketers about techniques required to instil brand values and subsequent behaviour into

ADComm Worldgroup and founder of Brand

employees or client-facing staff . Marketing

T:M21499215.

B e h av i o u

r. E : karl.treacher@adcomm.com.au

August 2004


Professional Marketing | People the Brand New Channel | August 2004  

An article by behavioural brand expert Karl Treacher that realigns marketers priorities and lays the foundation for brands to invest more in...

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