Landor invites the community to help brand management with new playbook

Global branding and design firm Landor, has developed a new playbook, allowing employees, partners, influencers and superfans to be involved in the brand’s engagement.


The announcement:
A revolution has begun. The old command- and-control way of managing brands is being overthrown. To address the realities of today’s hypercompetitive, complex marketplace, Landor, the global branding and design firm, has developed a new playbook: The Brand Community Model.

In this new world, multiple communities, including employees, partners, third-party influencers, and superfans, are actively encouraged to become involved in a brand’s management.

Landor spent the last year interviewing more than 20 Fortune 500 companies, identifying best practices and speaking with industry insiders to better understand the challenges facing brand governance today. The agency then assembled a panel of senior executives from six of the world’s top brands to co-create this resilient and flexible way to govern brands.

In the Brand Community Model, two sacrosanct practices are debunked: treating all audiences the same and considering all brand expressions equally. Three levels of communities that play a major role in shaping a brand are identified: Experts, Practitioners, and Employees. And, brand expressions are prioritised into:

The Sacred: elements that fundamentally define the brand and cannot be changed.

The Interpretative: aspects that can be adapted based on context, market, or geography.

The Exploratory: characteristics that can be freely adapted to allow more creativity.

“The rigid and carefully controlled era of brand management is over,” said Lois Jacobs, CEO of Landor. “Agility and adaptability are now top predictors of success, giving way to more audiences participating in how a brand is expressed and experienced. Of course in this environment it remains extremely important to preserve the integrity of the brand and ensure it remains true to its purpose.

“Our Brand Community Model provides the tools to do just that. It’s the next evolution of brand management and will generate more innovation and greater consumer connections with products and services.”

Dominic Walsh, Managing Director Landor Australia adds ‘The old model of brand management is based on the brand police enforcing compliance. This simply does not work in this day and age. The Brand Community Model is a bespoke tool that allows brands to be managed in an agile way. It is about flexibility, adaptability and open dialogue with complex stakeholders. Australian brands need to take the handcuffs off to stay relevant on a global scale.’

This new approach to brand management demands a willingness to change, particularly among C-suite executives who will need to rethink their assumptions about brands and shift the directions they give their teams. To help put Landor’s Brand Community Model into action, three key principles have been developed:

1. Democratide and empower. Everyone, including employees and external partners, should play a role in bringing the brand to life.

2. Segment and prioritise. Understand that not all audiences or touchpoints are created equal.

3. Be flexible and risk-tolerant. Intuition, rather than prescription, is key to success.


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