Conference and Forum,

October 18, 2012

Willbrook Platinum Convention Center,
Bucharest, Romania

The Transformational Power of Total Brand Integration

By Peter A. Blackwell,
Managing Partner at 4thought

The challenge facing every brand is how to break through the overwhelming volume of messages hitting consumers so they see, remember and choose your brand – all at a sustainable level of investment

‘If I just had more money’. Sound familiar?  Yet, instead of leveraging additional funds you likely strive to make existing spend work harder or even ‘do more with less’ as budgets are pruned.

The solution – create full integration across every element of your marketing – your strategies, activities, people, and agenciesGet it all working together so everything reinforces, strengthens and amplifies everything else – so the sum is greater than the parts.  Only then will consumers experience a unified, consistent, and powerful sense of your brand far beyond the actual dollars you spend.

Marketing Integration is not something you just decide to do.  It takes disciplined and challenging forethought across four key areas:  Purpose, Process, People, and Planning.

It all starts with your Brand – or, the ‘purpose’ your business exists to serve.  Financial returns are certainly important but that’s not why customers value you.  What’s in it for them?  If you were to close shop what would customers say is gone forever that no other brand could replace . . . or would they?

Great Brands know exactly what they want to be renowned for – what they want their ‘reputation’ to be.  They commit themselves to fulfilling this higher order Brand Purpose through every action they take, every one of their employees and ultimately every single experience customers have with their business – always!  What Brand Purpose guides, inspires & regulates every fibre of your business?

Only when your organization and support partners are working as one single, well-oiled machine will your plans come to life in a seamlessly integrated and consistently powerful way for your customers. This requires well thought out accountabilities and work linkages throughout your organization.  When designed properly – rooted in proven best-in-class practices – process unlocks the superior power of a collective organization, allowing it to move quickly, respond and adapt nimbly and truly achieve more with less.

Well-designed processes succeed in minimizing bureaucracy, group-think and lost time due to re-work by clarifying who does what, who decides what and how work gets done, drawing upon the key strengths of each group and individual.  Process also enables past successes to be repeated and further improved upon.

Nothing happens without someone making it happen.  And, because a Brand is the sum of all experiences a customer has with a business, every employee therefore plays a role in delivering your Brand  – everyone!  Does every one of your employees have a strong, common understanding of your Brand Purpose?  How does each person’s job differ because it’s done in support of your Brand vs. a competitor’s?

It’s been said that people don’t work for a paycheque, they work for a cause.  In truly great organizations, the Cause and the Brand are one-and-the-same.  A clearly defined Brand Purpose that permeates every part of your organization, guiding and regulating every action taken is the key to attracting and retaining the best talent.  It will unlock employee passion, creativity and commitment you never thought possible.

There is a big difference between ‘Planning’ and ‘A Plan’.  Planning is the process you should be using to manage your business on a daily basis.  It must be an evolving and adaptable practice in which every decision you make is evaluated against your longer term goals for the business and the customer’s experience with your Brand.  Planning is not an annual event, but an essential daily business process.

Planning, therefore, should not be confused with your organization’s Annual Plan.  An ‘Annual Plan’ is a report-out tool used to capture and distill a point-in-time view of where your business has been, is now and is going next.  If developing your Annual Plan is an overwhelming and dreaded event, it’s likely you don’t follow the practice of planning daily.  When an organization operates by ‘Planning Daily’, generating an ‘Annual Plan’ becomes a relatively quick & painless exercise.

Adhering to these four fundamental principles of driving Brand and Marketing integration is the key to unlocking the full power of your brand across your entire organization and drive transformational business results at a sustainable level of investment and return.


Peter Blackwell was former VP marketing for Canadian Tire, Canada’s most beloved retail Brand with over $7bil in revenues, with resources such as: 130+ marketing staff, 20+ agencies, $400mil budget in Marketing Spend, 500 stores across Canada. With 20 years’ experience, Peter will show you that a brand is not only a logo, a slogan or an advertisement.

At Leaders in Marketing on Oct 18, 2012, he will explain that a Brand is the sum of every experience a customer has with your business/organization, why it’s important to put Brand first in your business and he will help you assess if your brand is truly the heart & soul of your business. Join us and learn more from this Marketing Authority.

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