The Branding Supply Chain.


The branding supply chain is not a thing, but it should be. A supply chain is a chain of custody of manufactured elements that go into a finished product. In electronics, it’s not abnormal for a component to ship across the ocean three or four times before finding its way into Best Buy.  The comms chip is made in the U.S., sent to China to be put onto a circuit board, sent back to Mexico to be assembled into TV guts before being shipped back to Asia for its screen or glass.  Then onto a huge ship to cross the Pacific in 2 weeks.

In branding, the supply chain can be similarly messy. First a brand strategy is created (hopefully). Then it’s approved by the CEO and C-suite. The marketing department (often in flux) internalizes the brand brief and puts their own imprimaturs on it. Bring on the vendors. The web people turn it into a home page. The user experience leads finesse it into a lovely journey. The search people seek out clicks. The ad agency develops a campaign. HR massages it into the welcome packet for new employees – 18 months in the making.  And frankly, few of the aforementioned have really read the brand brief. And those who have are probably the department heads, not the workers.

By the time all the work is assembled by hands inside and outside the company, the words and images have traveled over too many oceans. Then the new chief marketing officer comes in (every 18 months) and says, “So, what’s our brand message?”

Tighten up!