Once in a while, somebody joins your organisation and cramps your style. I fear that has just happened to me. The powers that be in global ivory towers have deemed it necessary to appoint a group global brand guardian who shall seek to drive best practice across local markets.
They shall do this by accumulating record levels of air miles through state-like ambassadorial visits and by making me follow tedious brand tool-kit templates in the name of global compliance.
Predictably my new colleague will have no P&L responsibility, but instead will be measured on whether they can persuade everybody to compromise sufficiently to agree a global brand pyramid or whatever similar governance tool is the fashion of the day.
Based on my experience, my French colleagues will vote for an onion, the Munich marketing team will vote for something complex that I won’t understand and the Irish will vote for whatever costs them least to accomplish. I shall be championing the cause for a ladder to help me escape the tortuous global brand planning naval-gazing summits that await under the new regime.
“The credit crunch was such a joyous time as so many of these global waffle roles were disposed of.”
Looking back, the credit crunch was such a joyous time as so many of these global waffle roles were deemed as surplus to requirements and disposed of. Sadly, having proven that we can operate successfully without such intervention, we are now trading well enough to be able to afford to reappoint them.
We shall now gather at least once a quarter in global workshops at nice hotels and meeting venues, carefully wordsmithing the existing brand positioning and essence statements to a point where each country shall have compromised sufficiently to be prepared to wave the white flag and retire to dinner. We shall then return to our respective offices, read the meeting debrief and conclude that the new brand positioning statement is actually a bit bollocks and that we quite liked the old one. We then decide that quantitative consumer research is the only viable form of global adjudication. The results, of course, will be spuriously skewed in favour of whatever agenda the global brand guardian is pursuing at the time. Having all been entirely demotivated by the process we shall eventually file away the documents and quickly realise that we don’t actually have any brand plans to share with the trade. Committee-based global brand management: what a joy.