Case Histories: External Branding
“Transforming Product Managers into Brand Managers”
A German business to business company in the USA that specializes in industrial and technical products needed to transform their “product managers” to become “brand managers”. These extremely intelligent, well educated high global performers were technically proficient about their globally distributed products and their potential, but they had limited experience with traditional branding. They needed plans going forward for this stable of brands with 2,000+ SKU’s. Eventually some were to be realigned, some consolidated and some discontinued during this planning process.
The effort centered on brand creation, marrying brand strategy with product line strategies with the intention of creating deliverables that would benefit business performance. Topsail Group, using workshops and interactive sessions with this management group of 28 professionals (some at director level and 2 from German HQ’s) presented and worked with “Best Practices” and branding doctrine until preliminary branding plans were written for all the product groups. These plans were subsequently worked on internally and submitted to worldwide management. An important deliverable was to build a global team of brand managers that worked together along a definite set of guidelines, universally applied worldwide. For this massive matrix organization, this was a key objective. This cross-functional and cross-geography effort on the part of the US division stimulated a world wide program to work better together with the “brand” as the fulcrum.
Some of the techniques discovered and adapted for this project were incorporated into the company “Global Branding Manual”. Plans were completed, there was a global alignment of brands, some were consolidated, some were discontinued and the company was able to consolidate their business.