What’s More Important? Your Car or Your Brand?

Most of us believe in “annual check-ups”. We visit our Docs for annual checkups. We have our cars serviced every 10,000 miles. We’re on tilt, but we pause for these check-ups. After all, early detection can be life-saving.

What about our Brands? Do we step back from daily fires to systematically assess their Health? In “The Brand Report Card” (HBR), Tuck Professor Keller suggests tools/approaches to ensure a good long-term prognosis:

  • Brand Report Card: Grade across 10 indicators (e.g. – Consistency, Sensible Hierarchy, Relevance).
  • Brand Inventory: “A look in the mirror… [at] the stuff you send out into the world” – C. Grams, Former Red Hat Exec (see photo); Consider full spectrum of what consumer’s see/experience.
  • Brand Exploratory: Wide net immersion in consumers’ Brand associations
brand inventory

Regardless of what you call them (Check Ups, Health Checks, Audits), these “step backs” can be lifesaving for your Brand. A few suggestions for great outcomes:

  1. Focus on long-term Brand Health using agreed criteria and metrics. Having an actionable segmentation and clear target is critical. But how do we know if our segmentation and target are good enough?
  2. Focus on discovery and dialogue, not scores.
  3. Have a meeting to create a date with destiny that elevates focus on this “important, not urgent” work. Meeting ≠ Dog + Pony Show.
  4. Leverage diversity of perspectives to drive objectivity and alignment. Include Top Execs, Functional Leaders, Agency and Regional leaders, internal/external objective experts.
  5. Timing Matters. Schedule to maximize actionability.

Little to lose. Much to gain. Why not do Brand Check Ups?