As a senior brand leader, I have to confess frustration when I knew the details better than my Brand Manager. And it’s not just that senior leaders micromanage, it’s really that they can just analyze situations faster. They taught themselves the fundamentals of analysis. And they know when a Brand Manager hasn’t done the deep dive thinking. Opinions are great. Every brand leader should have one and be able to articulate their views. But it’s best when you can layer it in fact. One good rule for communicating your opinion is something I learned in my first-year logic class: Premise, Premise, Conclusion. Try it out, next time you’re engaged in debate. Just make sure the premise is backed by fact.
Analytical Tools: SWOT, PEST, FORCE FIELD
A good analytical tool helps to separate out attributes on the brand that may contribute positively or negatively, are happening vs could happen.
A SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. I have found it used best for a new launch where strengths are untapped assets the brand can unleash and weaknesses are things that must be overcome. Always force yourself with strengths and weaknesses to look at it through the lens of impacting revenue. So instead of “boring name”, you’d change that to “name unknown, and lacks the inspiration to drive a price premium”. Always connect your analysis to the P&L.
PEST stands for Political, Environmental, Social, and Technological and is best used when the brand is in a highly sensitive market or one that is filled with conflicts, controversies, or at the leading edge of market trends. This can be added to either of the other two or stand on its own.
A Force Field analysis is best served for those brands in a sustaining position where marketing plays the role of driving innovation and creativity within a box. Always keep in mind that Drivers and Inhibitors are happening now. You can see the impact in the current year. Anything in the future gets moved down to Opportunities and Threats which are not happening but could happen. Invariably, people mix this up, and things that could happen move up when they really shouldn’t.
The best thing about the force field is you can easily take it into an action plan because you want to keep the drivers going and overcome the inhibitors. Then take advantage of the opportunities and minimize or eliminate any serious threats. It’s a great simple management tool.
To read more about Brand Analysis, I’d encourage you to read: How to Go Deeper on Analysis