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Your Brand, a Valuable Strategic Asset

Escrito el 29 Abril 2008 por Alumni en Functional Area

The IE Marketing Club inaugurates its conference cycle with key speaker Joseph Gelman, partner at Prophet.

 Last week, Tuesday April 22nd, the IE Marketing Club was proud to host speaker Joseph Gelman, partner at Prophet in Madrid at the conference “Branding in a Strategic Marketing Consultancy“.

Before arriving at Prophet, Joseph Gelman co-founded BBDO Consulting in Madrid and worked as consultant for McKinsey for several years with a focus on the telecom and Internet sectors.

With his significant experience in devising impact-oriented brand and marketing strategies and programs, Mr. Gelman provided the audience with the latest information on the different trends in branding and the importance of building strong brands in today’s markets.  As consultant for leading companies in developing and implementing effective strategies for brand identity and positioning, brand portfolio and architecture –including many of Spain’s largest companies across several industries-, he earned every attendee´s attention through an interactive discussion.

His conference was riddled with real examples of successful -and not – branding strategies of financial institutions, low coast airlines, food industries or office supplies superstores, among others. He conducted a particularly dynamic conference through questions addressed to the audience, rewarding best answers and insights with a book on branding.

As he explained, a brand is basically a set of expectations and promises that are waiting to be fulfilled at every touchpoint that the customer has with it. Therefore, the customer’s experience of the brand is going to depend on how well these promises are actually delivered. In this sense, it is going to be essential to develop a deep understanding of the relationship the customer has with the brand. This means knowing exactly what expectations our brand evokes and how we are able to fulfil them accordingly through the different experiences that the customer has with it.

As he pointed out, to create a successful brand-customer relationship organizations need to build a brand identity, which captures what the organization aspires to and will align business with brand strategy.

He also mentioned that brands can be measured to monitor their performances. But such brand evaluation shall be the subject of a single session… We hope to have soon Mr. Gelman coming back for another lecture!

As he also explained, not too long ago, the relationship a customer had with a brand was limited to his/her awareness for a product or service, measurable through marketing activities such advertising and direct marketing. Today, awareness is not enough to build a strong relationship with our customers. Companies need to build consistent and coherent experiences with the customer, experiences that will touch the customer at a physical and an emotional level. Such consistency relies in “what they say and what they do” in every act of the organization -as he stressed out putting some examples- in order to gain customers’ intense loyalty.

In order to build successful brands, traditional media as we know it is not enough anymore. We are faced with an extremely competitive environment, where the client is better informed; we need to build strong touchpoints between the client and the brand Mr. Gelman declared.  

By creating a strategy for our brand we are able to treat a brand as a valuable asset for the company. In this sense, regarding “corporate branding” as a “valuable strategic asset” will result in increased profitability for our company, giving us a true competitive advantage.

On the other hand, brand strategies must be aligned with the all the levels of the organization as a whole, coordinated by the highest executive positions at the company (from top management) to be embraced by every single department (bottom). Every person in the company has to be committed with brand-building and be aware of the brand essence and values in order to be able to transmit a single and coherent message to the final customers. As he emphasized, “every employee needs to embody what the brand stands for and understand the role he/she needs to play in bringing the promises to life“.

Students were able to discuss with Mr. Gelman different viewpoints on the matters presented and learn from the consultant’s experience and knowledge through an excellent lecture.  

The event, attended by numerous IE students, concluded with an informal cocktail where they were able to discuss the learnings of the conference and enjoy the rest of the evening.

Prophet is a consultancy specialized in marketing, branding and innovation. Their aim is to help companies grow by “getting more of their brands, their investments and their people”. The company was founded in 1992 and today it employs more than 100 expert consultants. With offices in Chicago, Hamburg, London, Madrid, New York, San Francisco, Tokyo and Zurich, their strong reputation has been built thanks to the good results that they deliver to their clients. Among them we may find companies such as, Abbott, Boeing, BP, Cargill, Philips, Visa, UBS and others.

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