3) Implement information systems at all levels of the organization to build knowledge about target customers. Ask your IT department to create knowledge-sharing tools to share brand building ideas and practices across the organization. Start by sharing basic insights into buying patterns or preferences. In this way, you can leverage technology to build more market-focus. Don't allow the technology to become the end goal. Our research shows that effective knowledge sharing about brand building differentiates the strongest from the weakest brands.
4) Help managers motivate their teams to deliver on the brand promise. Educate your HR team about the brand promise and get them to coach and support managers who want to recognize, celebrate and honor people whose actions model key brand values. Think small. Effectively rewarding employees requires swift action, but big reward programs mean big, slow committees. We've learned that many little bits of appreciation can go farther than one big reward when it comes to building a market-focused culture.
5) Replace lagging indicators of performance with leading indicators of future brand value. Market share or profitability by customer segment tells you how you did last quarter. But it doesn't help you implement practices that will drive future brand value. Engage your finance and marketing teams in re-examining key measures you use to track business and brand performance. As an example, we worked with one company to create a "brand dashboard" with four internal drivers of brand value. The dashboard served as a monitoring tool -- but more importantly, as a feedback tool to staff who had an impact on the results. This drove future focused action.
Every function in your organization can help translate your brand promise into behavior. Helping your team to better connect with the brand is one way to focus and align their actions with what your company aspires to do externally. It's more than education -- and clearly not an internal communications exercise. It is simply good management for a market-focused business.