The challenge is in the design, development, communication, and collaborative execution.
Brand and Business Management in today’s business climate is not JUST about selecting the BEST component partners, but creating a communication process and detailed “plan” that integrates all partners (from Conceptual Development to Logistics/Fulfillment/Distribution) – thereby ensuring consistent communication throughout the lifetime of any campaign. Net, net – organization + streamlined communication + detailed integration process = greater profit margin and revenue!
The Financial Pro-forma:
In organizing and executing a well-planned Brand and Business Management structure – the first initiative is to develop a sound financial plan. Detailing a Breakeven and Cash Flow analysis will ensure that all components (i.e. Median Media expenditure, Upsell and Premium integration, Cost of Goods, Component partner cost, etc.) are evaluated, negotiated, and projected. The financial Pro-forma provides a working document of financial data that provides an opportunity to evaluate the viability of a business initiative while deciphering all cash flow and capital expenditures needed to initiate a realistic business. The Pro-forma also allows for the analysis of any potential media and inventory funding that might be necessary to either offset current cash flow or provide funding that would otherwise not exist.
Brand and Business Management – Gantt and PERT chart construction and ever-evolving analysis:
Since the essence of sound Brand and Business Management involves the consistent review of all component partners – from Manufacturing to Distribution – a well-designed and executed Gantt and/or PERT chart must be developed. Within this structure – all methodical steps in the process are outlined, projected date ranges are profiled, and partner accountability is measured (including client partner involvement). This evolving organization segments all component partners, by providing ongoing detail as to the “what”, “where”, “how”, “when” and even “why” of all task deliverables. The truest value – above and beyond the organization and detail – is in the constant communication that takes place between every component partner.
This organization provides for a NON-SILOED, collaborative campaign structure that promotes “shared knowledge” and the assurance that all partners will work together with commonality and client objectives at the forefront of all action. The design of the Gantt and/or PERT chart will always allow for adjustment and will provide all partners with a “view” of campaign progression and actual deadlines. This is critical in maintaining all client campaign “launch” objectives – while measuring all benchmarks and achieving milestones during a campaign. This evolving document is the architecture by which all collaboration and program measurements take place.
Communications Integration and Client Partner Care (CPC)
Above and beyond all process mapping, component integration and implementation, campaign management, and benchmarking – is the critical component of communication and Client Care. As all firms should be dedicated to the success of client partner programs – the consistent and accountable communication that takes place between all component partners is paramount in achieving all client partner goals and objectives. This – above all else – is vital in maintaining program performance and achieving anticipated projections. Simply, with the attention paid to astute, interactive client engagement, the opportunity for long term success is eminent.
Benchmarking and Measurement:
To qualify and quantify the actual results and ongoing measurement of any Brand and Business Management program - Benchmarking must be instituted to ensure performance measurement and accurate review of all campaign components. Through all processes, procedures, service level review – the ability to benchmark both internal – and external – functions is necessary for providing consistent measurement during each phase of program development. As a periodic review of all operations process (i.e. inventory control, fulfillment accuracies, data and report analysis, program, and functional behavior, technology effectiveness, logistics and customer care cost assessment, etc.), setting benchmark standards will allow for accurate “reviews” of all components of the logistic and customer care mix. These processes will also provide a safeguard for continuous learning, continuous improvement, and program success.
Although benchmarking is a technique and application associated with “task” oriented issues – the challenge to benchmark internal functions is often satisfied by “employing” the services of external consultants, attending and exhibiting at trade events, involvement in educational seminars – and most important – LISTEN to your client partners!
As we have learned – the successful art of Brand and Business Management not only entails the thorough review of all best practice component partners but the astute execution of all communication and coordinated information sharing. As we start to evaluate each business initiative – it is critical to maintain organization, expert implementation, and multi-channel awareness in each facet of a program. The measure of a truly successful business is in the people involved in the brand, the expert process that is employed – and the calculated measurement that drives all sales!