1.Define Brand Stewardship work procedures, provide coaching and training to gain support in the middle/lower management. Create an O&M-brand, use BrandPrint for O&M itself.
2.Align the organizational structures of the company by establishing profit centers. Focus the ERP system on worldwide CRM. Adjust the compensation system to reward brand thinking and brand management.
3.Recraft and connect the vision to O&M’s core values, create a visible BHAG and specify tangible objectives. Establish symbols like the colour red and a brand hall of fame.
4.Create and man a global brand stewardship coordination officer position to support Beers and enable her to focus on selling the vision to the clients.
5.Resegmentize customers by focussing on building brands for large, globally operating Fortune 500 companies.
2.1 Internal Propagation of the Vision
Propagation has top priority because of unbalanced internal and external situation.
To ensure a high quality of customer service, it is necessary to make sure that all parts of the service marketing triangle are equally prepared and committed to the new brand-oriented vision. Currently, the management has already attracted a number of clients with the concept of Brand Stewardship, but has fallen behind in communicating its ideas and implications to the middle and lower management and to the front-line employees. This is hazardous, because it has built up a service promise to the customers which the company cannot fully keep and deliver at the moment. This will directly lead to significant customer dissatisfaction, hence it must be the top priority to propagate the vision internally.
Missionaries, training and communication are most effective for a top-down approach.
In order to find the most effective measures, it is essential to keep in mind that Beers has brought the vision to the company as an outsider and has installed it from the top. Therefore it is vital to broaden the community that carries this vision. The O&M’s employees, who developed a certain inertia during the successful eighties, must gain intrinsic motivation to adapt to the vision by understanding what is in it for them and what the way is to realize these benefits. This also includes that strong resisters who cannot identify themselves at all are to be convinced that it is best for them to leave the company.
The Doral Arrowwood group should be appointed as “missionnaries” to spread and anchor the idea of Brand Stewardship in all O&M departments. Besides the vision idea, brand-oriented work procedures and concepts like the brand audit and BrandPrint must be formally defined and introduced by coaching and training sessions as well as by communicating them through channels like the corporate intranet, employee brochures and letters and company speeches and forums. The early visible successes of the new approach like the Jaguar BrandPrint and the American Express recapture should be used to illustrate its potential.
Shaping O&M as an own brand by using BrandPrint is important for credibility.
O&M as an advertising agency sells the development of brands as their primary service. This puts it in the somewhat delicate situation that in order to not lose credibility, it has to prove its abilities by developing the name O&M itself into a brand standing for strong brands. I recommend using the concepts of BrandPrint and brand audits for the twofold benefit that it yields valuable information about the change progress towards Brand Stewardship and gives the employees a deeper insight in how to apply these concepts appropriately.
2.2 Alignment of Organizational Structures
Changes in the external industry conditions call for organizational changes.
The advertising industry has changed dramatically over the last few years. Globalization had its impact, advertisement spending has been cut, the importance of mass media has decreased in favour of direct marketing and simple independent campaigns have become offered as a commodity. O&M’s organizational structure has not been adapted to these changes and is therefore not adequate to meet the requirements for a successful implementation of the new vision. The communication breakdown between local offices and international management reflects this as well as the prevailing disagreements about financial allocations.
Turn offices and WCS into profit centers and put the ERP focus on CRM.
A method to solve the problems about how to distribute the revenues and workload between WCS and local offices is to turn them into profit centers. The WCS will manage the direct account contacts and coordinate global brands and campaigns. The local offices are then subcontracted for local adaptation and implementation. This separation will also clarify the reporting relationships between the management-oriented WCS and the creativity-focused local offices. To remedy the communication problem, facilitate a thorough knowledge and information exchange and ensure consistency as necessary for global Brand Stewardship, the company’s ERP system must be refocused on Customer Relationship Management aspects.
The data extracted from Beers’ client interviews will prove helpful in identifying these aspects. Company-wide accesses to this CRM system will empower front-line employees to fulfil the quality service promise given to the clients and will furthermore create a sense of network and community in the company. In addition, it will reduce transaction cost and boost efficiency, thus enabling O&M to maximize the profitability of voluminous global accounts.
Make the incentive system reward brand thinking and brand management.
The salary and incentive system must reflect the differences between the local offices and the WCS, but both must award efforts supporting the Brand Stewardship idea. Therefore it is advisable to grant WCS executives a bonus dependant on the world-wide reputation, volume and number of the brands they are responsible for. Incentives for local offices should be based on the current implementation and customization success of the brand, determined for example by local polls and changes in clients’ sales revenues.
2.3 Recraft the Vision and connect it to Symbols
Attach the brand vision to the company’s core values.
Since the mission did not evolve from the company but was brought from outside, it is necessary to make sure that it gets connected to the core values of O&M. In order to achieve this, those core values must be “re-identified”, specified and checked whether they still prevail in the company. The allusion of fiefdoms within O&M indicates that the statement of “not having time for prima donnas and politicians” is currently rather wishful thinking than reality.
Erect a BHAG and a tangible milestone plan.
Besides this, the vision catchphrase might be quite elegant, but is not specific and vivid enough to create directly visible targets and a so-called Big Hairy Audacious Goal, a long-term motivation point. “We will be the stewards for two thirds of the most valuable brands” is a more suitable formulation for such a kind of goal. Tangible objectives are also of great importance for creating motivation and sustaining the momentum of the organizational change. Therefore, a milestone plan should be set up, saying that within the next year the ten most important client accounts should be turned into fully-fledged Brand Stewardship relationships, and for an equal number of new clients a Brand Stewardship should be established.
Symbolize the brand vision with the corporate colour red and a brand hall of fame.
In order to anchor the vision in the company and to attach it emotionally to the employees, it must be connected to symbols. The distinctive red corporate colour can be exploited and should be made associated with the brand vision, for example by slogans like “Think red!”. Founding a representative “hall of fame” with well-known and successful brands that have been developed and stewarded by O&M will also help convincing and committing employees to the idea and will generate a sense of pride of what they created.
2.4 Appoint a global Brand Stewardship Officer
Beers as a leader needs a capable operations manager besides her.
The good success of Charlotte Beers’ first year as the leader and change agent of O&M indicates that she has the capability to fill the leadership vacuum which was opened when the founder David Ogilvy left the company and could so far not be successfully refilled by his successors. But in order to effectively implement the brand vision, it takes more than a good leader that stands for the right things to do. A dedicated manager to then do those things right is equally crucial for a sustained change process.
Appoint an established O&M executive as CBSO.
For this reason, Beers should create the position of a Chief Brand Stewardship Officer, responsible for the implementation of the brand concepts and for coordinating and steering the global operations. The country and zone managers should report to him, whereas he directly reports to Beers. This gives Beers the opportunity to fully dedicate her time on what she is best at: representing the vision inside the company and selling and communicating it to the clients and to the public. It is advisable to appoint an established O&M executive for this CBSO position, since a thorough understanding of the prevailing business processes and an anchored trust base will provide helpful for this task.
2.5 Resegmentation of Customers
Globally operating Fortune 500 companies are the target clients for O&M.
The investment into the CRM system and the organizational structure for world-wide brand coordination is substantial. To justify that expenditure, it is necessary to build volume by targeting the largest corporations which have a need for truly global brands. In case of scarce resources or busy local offices, small accounts and local clients have to be dropped first. This will also help to establish the company image as the brand steward of the giants and aid to fully turn the recently positively developing profit margin into substantial bottom-line results.