The necessary brand experiences you must go through at least five times

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There are many brand experiences a marketer must go through at least five times before you can understand. The most difficult brand experiences include writing brand plans, leading a brand turnaround, launching a new advertising campaign, managing a team, firing a marketer, launching a new brand, and leading across the organization.

I remember how challenging it was for me the first time I launched a new advertising campaign. Can I confess now that it was a complete disaster? And, I had no clue what the significant steps were and no one on my side who could teach me. Finally, I was lucky my client service person helped me through every step. Over the years, I would get better and better, learning something new each time.

I then struggled the first time I managed a person for the first time.

Then I struggled to launch a new brand. It is starting to sound like I was a disaster at everything. Well, I might be exaggerating, but I can tell you that I got better each time. And you will as well. 

There is a reason why it takes experience for you to be a great marketer. Be patient with yourself and ensure you keep learning with each new experience.

Skills, behaviors, and experiences

When I assess people, I always think in terms of skills, behaviors, and experiences. Here’s a scorecard you can use to score yourself on marketing skills.

The necessary experiences a brand leader must go through

Write Brand Plans

Writing a brand plan takes experience. At the early stages of your career, I recommend you should learn some of the same skills through writing brand recommendations, writing a brand review or writing a section of the brand plan. As you move up to Brand Manager, you have to take full ownership of the plan. One of the hardest elements to work on is the flow. I always say that a well-written Brand Plan should feel like an orchestral arrangement, with each component of the plan with separate song sheets, but everyone’s contribution adds up to one plan.

Leading a Brand Turnaround

When the results are not meetings the expectations of the business, the pressure goes up exponentially, and the scrutiny intensifies. If there is a hint of concern, senior leaders will roll up their sleeves and get involved.

Launching new advertising

Launching a big new campaign from scratch involves a lot of crucial steps to manage. On top of that, you must deal with the ambiguity of what makes a great creative and smart media choices. It is essential to keep the agency motivated while keeping your boss aligned.

Managing a team

Managing can be such a challenge that when I worked at J&J when we promoted someone to Brand Manager, we usually tried to avoid giving them a direct report. Most people mess up their first direct report. A similar pattern happens: excited to have someone do the little stuff they hate doing; then the person struggles so the manager does it themselves and gets mad at the person who can’t do it, then begins to think their direct report is incompetent. On the other hand, the direct report thinks their boss refuses to train them, gives them little feedback and is a control freak. 

Firing a Marketer

Firing someone sounds like a strange experience to put on the list. But it is one of the most challenging decisions you will have to make. I wish you would never have to fire one, but the reality is that you will. To make sure you are making the right decision, you need to understand the role and be able to measure that person against the criteria for what they can and cannot do.

Launching a new brand

While managing a brand is difficult enough, creating a brand from scratch involves every element of marketing from the concept to the product to naming to production, selling, shipping, advertising, displaying, promoting, and analyzing the performance. You better be great at Marketing before taking on a launch from scratch.

Leading across organization

As you move into more senior leadership roles, extend your breadth across the organization with cross-functional roles. This means special projects or stepping into a cross-functional role. This move allows you to begin seeing every corner of the organization through the eyes of other team players in sales, HR, operations, and finance. 

Here is a tool to track Marketing experiences from an entry-level up to a senior role. I tell Marketers that you should try to have a good balance as you move up. Avoid having any experience gaps when you hit a senior level.

To read about our brand management training program, click on the link below: 

Brand Training Program

My new book, Beloved Brands, coming this spring.

How this Beloved Brands playbook can work for you. The purpose of this book is to make you a smarter brand leader so your brand can win in the market. You will learn how to think strategically, define your brand with a positioning statement and a brand idea, write a brand plan everyone can follow, inspire smart and creative marketing execution, and be able to analyze the performance of your brand through a deep-dive business review.

 

Beloved Brands: Who are we?

At Beloved Brands, our purpose is to help brands find a new pathway to growth. We believe that the more love your brand can generate with your most cherished consumers, the more power, growth, and profitability you will realize in the future.

The best solutions are likely inside you already, but struggle to come out. Our unique engagement tools are the backbone of our strategy workshops. These tools will force you to think differently so you can freely generate many new ideas. At Beloved Brands, we bring our challenging voice to help you make decisions and refine every potential idea.

We help brands find growth

We start by defining a brand positioning statement, outlining the desired target, consumer benefits and support points the brand will stand behind. And then, we build a big idea that is simple and unique enough to stand out in the clutter of the market, motivating enough to get consumers to engage, buy and build a loyal following with your brand. Finally, the big idea must influence employees to personally deliver an outstanding consumer experience, to help move consumers along the journey to loving your brand.

We will help you write a strategic brand plan for the future, to get everyone in your organization to follow. It starts with an inspiring vision that pushes your team to imagine a brighter future. We use our strategic thinking tools to help you make strategic choices on where to allocate your brand’s limited resources. We work with your team to build out project plans, creative briefs and provide advice on marketing execution.

To learn more about our coaching, click on this link: Beloved Brands Strategic Coaching

We make Brand Leaders smarter

We believe that investing in your marketing people will pay off. With smarter people behind your brands will drive higher revenue growth and profits. With our brand management training program, you will see smarter strategic thinking, more focused brand plans, brand positioning, better creative briefs that steer your agencies, improved decision-making on marketing execution, smarter analytical skills to assess your brand’s performance and a better management of the profitability of the brand.

To learn more about our training programs, click on this link: Beloved Brands Training

If you need our help, email me at graham@beloved-brands.com or call me at 416 885 3911

 

 

 

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Graham Robertson

Graham spent 20 years in Brand Management leading some of the world’s most beloved brands at Johnson and Johnson, General Mills and Coke, rising up to VP Marketing. In his career, he has won numerous Advertising, Innovation and Leadership awards. Graham played a major role in helping J&J win Marketing Magazine’s prestigious “Marketer of the Year” award. Graham brings a reputation for challenging brand leaders to think differently and to be more strategically focused. Graham founded Beloved Brands in 2010, to help brands find growth and make brand leaders smarter. He leads workshops to help define your Brand Positioning, build your brand’s Big Idea, and write strategic Brand Plans that motivate and focus everyone that works on the brand. Our Beloved Brands training programs will help your team, produce exceptionally smart work work that drives stronger brand growth and profits. We cover everything a brand leader needs to know including strategic thinking, planning, positioning, execution and analytics. Our robust client roster has included the NFL Players Association, Reebok, the NBA, Acura, Shell, Miller Lite, 3M, Jack Link’s and Pfizer. His weekly brand stories have generated over 5 million views.

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The necessary brand experiences you must go through at least five times

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