IBM brand architect on brand as business strategy

2/12/2014 Unknown 0 Comments

Forbes today published excerpts from a discussion between Forbes contributor, Allen Adamson, and a real tried-and-tested branding professional, Randy Golden, who was a senior executive in the corporate brand architecture and design group at IBM for over twenty years.

The discussion circles around, in several ways, the concept of the corporate brand being "in the DNA" of a company -- not just in the advertising -- understood and lived by all levels of employees. They make the case for branding as a business strategy. Golden says, "It was the responsibility of the brand team to identify, prioritize, and build intgrated systems for presenting the IBM brand across all of the global business units and the numerous departments, products and programs."

Golden continues, "The challenge in big companies is the ability to act and behave across the business in a way that is consistent with the core brand. . . . [At IBM] Management knew that the brand and its values needed to guide all organizational behavior. It had to be the infrastructure around which everything else was developed. Advertising needs to be an integrated part of the overall brand presentation, but not the driver."

Adamson concurs: "If stakeholders, employees, can't understand how the brand character and messaging should be deployed in their individual areas of business, how this allows them to differentiate the brand in the minds of consumers, no amount of advertising can help. You have to get them to be able to internalize it, act on it in their world."