We work with clients on building, managing and protecting their intangible assets
Our consulting and insights services cover the full cycle of Brand and Reputation management to help companies articulate, demonstrate and be true to their character.
Brand and Reputation Strategy
This is our way of referring to a company’s ”manifesto” – its stated character and way of working. Typically (though not always) articulated through a set of vision, mission and values, the objective is to identify the company’s uniqueness and express its ambitions – while aligning with stakeholder expectations.
We work with companies to develop this by analyzing existing stakeholder insights and generating new ones, interviewing and workshopping internally, auditing the company’s internal and external touchpoints and reviewing its history. With an emphasis on the company’s long-term strategy and desired culture, we work closely with our clients and their staff to develop a strong “manifesto”, providing clarity and unity to the organization.
Call it purpose, essence or identity – a company needs an ideological platform that clearly, compellingly and distinctively captures its way of creating value for its different stakeholders – including society at large. Without such a platform, it is harder to get people to engage with the company, let alone become its ambassadors.
We employ research, audit and analytical tools to align the company’s ambitions with its internal reality and external expectations – resulting in a statement that is both socially and commercially relevant, and has clear “activation potential” to ensure that all activities are driven by the same idea – consistently and effectively.
A company’s Brand portfolio is often a reflection of its internal structure, M&A activity and business strategy, including product names, business areas and legacy companies. But Brand architecture is also the foundation for optimized relationships between the company and its audiences – and a means for strengthening the Corporate Brand, supporting internal culture and realizing marketing efficiencies.
We analyze Brand portfolios and work with clients to identify opportunities for improvements and to develop governance rules that help them manage historical and future Brand proliferation efficiently, consistently and strategically.
Vision and Purpose statements, as well as Core Values, are often easier to define than to implement. The test of a company’s ideological platform is how well it lives up to it – and this largely depends on aligning internal behavior and culture with the stated identity.
We use training programs, performance evaluations, KPIs, valued behaviors, award and recognition programs, and other tools to ensure that our clients can deliver on their strategies, live up to their commitments and shape the desired culture and behavior at both management and staff levels.
Stakeholder Mapping and Engagement
When it comes to aligning and planning stakeholder engagement activities, it is a good idea to start by identifying and prioritizing key stakeholder groups that have an impact on, or are impacted by, the company’s operations and performance. We apply various recognized models to map our clients’ stakeholder universe and suggest priorities and inter-relationships.
We then work with our clients’ relevant teams to plan and synchronize engagement activities that are fully aligned with the company’s Brand and Reputation strategy – and with each other. Engagement plans should also be based on stakeholder perceptions and expectations, making their impact relevant and measurable. Lastly, we work on setting up governance systems to facilitate the ongoing review and alignment of stakeholder engagement across the company.
Strategy and Insights Activation
Stakeholders forms perceptions and attitudes towards companies based on how they experience them through various touchpoints – as well as what they hear about them from others. It is therefore important to bring the Brand and Reputation strategy to life in a concrete way that influences the stakeholder experience.
Through audit and research techniques we identify high-impact touchpoints and activities that our clients need to address in order to reflect the new strategy and stakeholder expectations. We also suggest ways to revise and connect activities and strategies across the company that would help it become more stakeholder-informed and purpose-driven.
Measurement and KPIs
Measuring perceptions, attitudes and expectations of various stakeholders towards your company is a good practice for both diagnostic and progress-monitoring purposes.
We conduct quantitative and qualitative research and analyses of stakeholder perceptions, using our Brand and Reputation research model and customizing it for each client’s specific needs and circumstances. We use the output to diagnose areas of improvement, inform Brand and Reputation strategy, and shape stakeholder engagement. We also establish KPI systems to assess progress on an ongoing basis and ensure effective implementation of the strategy and assess the impact of key initiatives.
Reputation Risk Management
Reputational risk is often mentioned as one of the key risks facing companies today. We help companies manage this risk in two ways:
Through internal investigation and external surveys, we identify and prioritize potential events that could have a negative impact on the company’s Brand and Reputation, and then help our clients quantify the potential impact of these events should they occur.
Through planning, training and governance system setup, we assess and improve the company’s readiness and capabilities for managing reputational risks, and its ability to mitigate their effect.
One of the main reasons that Brand and Reputation efforts often fail is that they forever remain a Marketing or Comms initiative. For a company to develop a strong and lasting character, it needs to live by it in everything it does – not just in its messages and campaigns.
This calls for institutionalizing a new Brand and Reputation strategy and embedding stakeholder insights across the organization – through cross-departmental forums, roll-out plans, advocacy programs, MBO principles and more. Our focus here is on aligning a company’s stated beliefs with the way it does business.
Understand and interpret perceptions and expectations of various stakeholders – either as a one-off diagnostic or as regular measurement that tracks progress and informs decision-making.
We use a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods and statistical analyses to generate actionable insights that can be activated across the organization – covering all types of stakeholders and all countries and regions.
Irrespective of whether the relevant stakeholders are transactional or relational, easily accessible or hard-to-reach, we work with our clients to identify the right target audience and generate the most relevant and actionable Brand and Reputation insights.
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