giovedì, marzo 08, 2007

Deep Branding (tempura marketing) 


Questo è un concetto che mi sta molto a cuore. A breve dovrò recarmi a Londra perchè una grande società vuole conoscere il modello che ho presentato in Sudafrica e che sembra avere riscontrato successo. Il concetto è noto, ma sono le pratiche che devono essere esplorate e sono proprio quelle che andrò a presentare.

Intanto non voglio fare solo un link all'articolo di Jan Lee Martin, lo voglio proprio "copiancollare" qui sotto, perchè qualcuno ad una prima lettura dirà che queste cose le sa già.

E' un invito al deep reading, leggete l'articolo almeno tre volte.


DEEP BRANDING: the new key to success?
By Jan Lee Martin
Once upon a time, an organisation made its own decisions in its own way. Not any more. Today, public and private organisations alike are being scrutinised and held accountable by a growing body of stakeholders. Decision-making no longer takes place behind closed doors. It is subject to the judgement of employees, the exposure of public discussion, the blaze of media attention. Attempts to protect privacy merely attract increased scrutiny.

More and more of an organisation's activities - what it pays for labour, what happens to its waste, how it deals with staff, where components are made (and how) - are being challenged and discussed by people outside the leadership team.

Does this mean organisations no longer control their own destiny? Once upon a time, an organisation made its own decisions in its own way. Not any more. Today, public and private organisations alike are being scrutinised and held accountable by a growing body of stakeholders. Decision-making no longer takes place behind closed doors. It is subject to the judgement of employees, the exposure of public discussion, the blaze of media attention. Attempts to protect privacy merely attract increased scrutiny.

More and more of an organisation's activities - what it pays for labour, what happens to its waste, how it deals with staff, where components are made (and how) - are being challenged and discussed by people outside the leadership team.

Does this mean organisations no longer control their own destiny? Perhaps they never could - but it's clear now that in a world of accelerating, complex change, old-fashioned ideas of control just don't work any more. Ideas derived from mechanistic science - push the lever and you know what will happen - have given way to more organic approaches which learn from the complex adaptive systems of life. Communication replaces control as the single most critical process. And in a changing world of changing organisations with changing relationships, there's no way you can control communication in the old-fashioned, top-down way.

In other words, the public relations cats are out of their bags. Many of them are to be found among the pigeons. Today's organisations are dealing with the consequences as well as they can, but the outcomes are often painful, costly and can inflict lasting damage. How might tomorrow's organisation deal with the increasingly complex issue of identifying and articulating its identity, its values, its work and its achievements?
The answer is simple, but not necessarily easy.

Instead of polishing outer images, trying to manage the perceptions of different groups of stakeholders (who often have conflicting interests), the successful company of tomorrow may choose the inside-out approach of placing values and ethics at the core of its identity, and letting them make their own way out into its complex web of relationships.

Every organisation is communicating every day. Every organisation has a host of different relationships to manage. There is no choice about this. No organisation can decide whether it will or will not communicate, whether it will or will not have relationships. Its only choice is whether to do it well or to do it badly.

Public relations and corporate affairs people are recognised as the professional communicators. No doubt they will continue in this role. But to limit communication skills and expertise to the full-time professionals is to deny the greatest opportunity available to organisations today. It's like saying only the telephone operator can make phone calls.

Emerging stakeholders -- employees, customers, investors - want an organisation to know what it stands for, and to show what it stands for. And they're not waiting for a press release to tell them.

Before I discovered futures studies, my consulting career taught me that the success of an organisation depends on the success of its relationships. Those relationships are nurtured through good communication. And I learned that communication wasn't just about advertising or press releases or newsletters. Everything we say and do communicates meaning.

The information revolution increased scepticism, and therefore scrutiny, in the corporate environment. An organisation was no longer judged by what it said, but by what it did. Younger stakeholders were looking for consistency between those two, probing upstream to check intent and the values behind that intent. Today, having a brand that looks good, or even one that performs well, isn't enough if the product is made by exploited labour, if it damages the global commons, if its waste is not biodegradable.

Consumers and activists now have more powerful tools for checking these details - and sometimes they're on the inside. It takes about two minutes for an internal corporate email to hit a journalist's inbox. Now that's what I call transparency. It also highlights why winning the commitment of employees isn't just a matter of reducing staff churn, cutting recruitment costs or motivating outstanding performance.

Alongside internal pressures are external pressures - like those of the insatiable market, expecting CEOs to deliver ever-increasing profits. But there are signs the market is at last seeing the conflict between short term and long term success. Predatory capitalism is being replaced by sustainable approaches to profit-making. Investors realise that no organisation can increase its profits every quarter - and live. The smart ones see the link between corporate social responsibility and creating the kind of community they want to live in. And they're looking for safer investments in the ethical marketplace.

When it comes to environmental sustainability, a little bit of reverse mentoring wouldn't go astray. Even school children have a greater sense of urgency about climate change and other environmental issues than the generations who are meant to be running our world. But perhaps it won't be long before they'll get their chance anyway, because organisations that don't get to grips with these issues will be replaced by a new generation that knows better.

These examples highlight the empowering of stakeholders in a world where power is being redistributed in complex ways. A brand no longer belongs to the product or the company alone. It's no longer just a matter of image or perception. Instead, it is answerable to a growing list of stakeholders, whose scrutiny will hold it accountable against a range of indicators.

Perhaps the answer lies in "deep branding", branding of the product, the processes, the company - the whole value adding chain - with a core integrity that will stand up to scrutiny. Ultimately it could shape a new kind of organisation, in new sets of relationships with its host community.

Lo ripeto, forse i principi sono noti, ma non le pratiche. Vedrete che ci ritorno.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Alberto Claudio Tremolada said...

Interessante al riguardo

Deep Branding on the Internet,
Applying Heat and Pressure Online to Ensure a Lasting Brand

di Marc Braunstein, Ned Levine, Edward H. Levine

Saluti.

Alberto Claudio Tremolada
alberto@bloggeraus.com

8/3/07 16:45  
Blogger Maurizio Goetz said...

Grazie della segnalazione Alberto, esattamente questo è uno degli articoli che va nella direzione su cui sto lavorando.

8/3/07 16:47  

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