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Beyond Branding is written by members of The Medinge Group

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September 14, 2003

The Life of Brand 

The attached picture shows my brand literature review for a keynote talk later this month at Barcelona's Year of Design -see the work I have been linked to since 1988.

Back then I contributed to The Economist's "Year of the Brand" stating that : people needed something very human indeed to connect leadership identities and unique organising purposes (UOPs) of would-be global companies, and the brand might as well be that organisational lifestyle system.

Two absolutely awful things happened in quick succession. Accountants discovered a numbers hole (intangibles/goodwill) in their balance sheet. With ad agencies they waved a magic wand declaring this to be (global) "brand valuation" and computing this in terms of ad spends, market shares, and other external brand perceptions that ad agencies like to master over. Of course if you're a global addict (adding spreadsheets or advertising images) then you may find this absolutely fabulous, but my work tries to show why at least 3 frameworks need integrating for all those people who'd prefer global leaders to revolve round reality-making.

Frame 1: architecture of brands linking corporate, local and global values

Frame 2: the triangle of living the brand - linking Outside image of the organisation, with Inside employee branding & learning organisation, and Leadership systems of investment decision-making and drama of truth-testing

Frame 3: the nature of business value in our globally networked futures: Transparency for humans as productive Knowledge Networkers caring also about those in most desperate need; Dynamic Integrity of Relationship Capital to prevent conflicts compounding as well as to direct the greatest growth opportunities known to our human race; Brand/Intangibles Trust-Flow Mapping as the form of democratic governance we must require of superpowerful organisations and the way their systems interact all around our lives.

To some , this may sound like a lot of context-specific work to connect with leadership performance. But then 80% of future value - either multiplying growth or destruction - henceforth goes with communal understanding of these human relationship connections not the old accountant's separate numbers nor those who would broadcast promises with no systemic capability to detect which are worth trusting and which will soon be broken compounding great human conflicts in their imagery.lifeofbrand.pptlifeofbrand.ppt
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