Brand Communications Planning and Management


3 Key Shifts in Brand Communications: • Brand @ Centre Stage

“If people fall out of love with your brand, you go out of business”
The Economist 2001

• The Shift to Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) “promotional messages communicating in a consistent voice to attain maximum communications impact”

What is a brand? How does a brand come to be?

“The brand is a focal point for all the positive and negative impressions created by the buyer over time as he comes into contact with the brand’s products, distribution channel, personnel and communication”
Jean-Noel Kapferer

“A broad conceptual appeal”
Thomas Oosthuizen

“A total experience”
Jeremy Sampson

Inside-out or Outside-in 

• The Shift from IMC to Integrated Brand Contact Management Every point of contact communicates! “Moments of Truth” - Jan Carlson

What does Brand Contact Management entail?

1. Identifying Sources of Brand Contact

A case in motion: consider Banking!

4 Sources of Contact:     Product Related Sources Service Contacts Planned Contacts Unplanned Sources of Brand Contact

2. Prioritising Sources of Brand Contact  Frequency of contact  Impact of contact

3. Integrating points of contact


Every point of contact must communicate and reinforce the identity of the brand. ↓ Consistent brand image

Integration demands focus!     Increasing Increasing Increasing Increasing competitive activity levels of product parity levels of brand parity levels of clutter

Brand Identity → Brand Image ↑ Brand Positioning → Focus

Outcome of Integrated Brand Contact Management?

product contacts

service contacts contacts



Real Implications:  Companies → Brand Contact Task Team  Agencies → Strategic Partner  Agencies → Integrated Communications Agencies  Agencies → Account Teams  Foster → Outside-in, zero-based, medianeutral mindset  Performance-based remuneration

Agency Remuneration  Media commission based  Media-neutral / zero-based and accountable
– Fee-based – Cost-plus agreements – Performance-based

The Planned Brand Contact Strategy (The Promotional Plan, The Marketing Communications Plan, The Campaign Strategy)

 In context of Integrated Brand Contact Planning  Aim → Single-minded and Integrated Brand Identity  Function as a Strategic Partner

Guidelines in Choosing a Communications Partner:     Communication objectives? Insight - industry Conflict in interest Budgets

 Culture  Future growth  Track record

The Planned Contact Planning Process

Phase One Situational Analysis

“It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data”
Sherlock Holmes to Dr Watson

Objective? Objective? ↓ Key Issues

Levels of Situational Analysis: 1. Industry and Competitor Analysis 2. Company Profile

“Virgin stands for a sense of challenge. We use the credibility of our brand to challenge the dominant players in a range of industries, whom we believe exert too much power and therefore restrict consumerism”
Clifford Joffe MM - Virgin Atlantic SA

Virgin Checklist:      The best quality It must be innovative It must be good value for money A challenge to existing alternatives It must add a sense of fun or cheekiness

3. Consumer/Customer Analysis Confirm sources of sales!     New Category Users Brand Loyals Brand Switchers Other Brand Loyals

Consumer Research: ↓ Source Consumer Motivation Define Profiles

4. Product and Brand Analysis

Brand Communications Audit ↓ Contact and Content Analysis

Contact Analysis  Full blown contact analysis - Brand Contact Task Team  Hone-in on Planned Contacts  Assess impact and integration

Content Analysis - Semiotics Aim → Brand Language and Integration

Verbal levels “the written or spoken word”      Brand name Pay off line Headlines Body copy Scripts

Non Verbal Levels “everything over and above the written or spoken word”     Logo Colour Typography Layout     Tone of voice Lighting Icons Mediums

Association & differentiation Perceived quality & leadership Loyalty Awareness Market behaviour Aaker’s Brand Equity Measures

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