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what’s a brand for?

According to a study by the Association of National Advertisers, 64% of CMOs and brand managers say their brands do not influence decisions made at their companies.

What’s up with that?!  If companies are not going to use their brands to guide decision-making, then what’s a brand for?

The way I see it, a brand is a bundle of values and attributes that define a product or service’s value delivered its customers and the way of doing business that is the basis of a company’s relationships with stakeholders.  As such, a brand should be more than symbol of the business — it should be its driver.

I’m not sure what to think of the study results — do they mean that most companies are pouring millions of dollars into marketing and advertising without really basing their business on the values and attributes they’re communicating?  If so, they’re limiting their businesses by relying only on the expressive value of their brands.  Companies that want to leverage the full value of their brands must express AND operationalize them.

Brands can — and should — guide and power the business.

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