Thursday, May 5, 2011

How Company Values Drive Brand Behavior

I am surprised by the recent news of how a great company like Johnson & Johnson has allowed their brands to be tarnished through the sloppiness of a manufacturing mess at their McNeil division. Several recalls across their consumer products have led consumers to question their once sacred trust.   It got me thinking about how a company culture can change and affect the brands that it markets. 

Values are a set of core beliefs, which inspires and sets boundaries for behavior. Most companies have a set of core values that guides the work they do. J&J , for example has a strong and recognized value statement.  Good companies regularly communicate and demonstrate their value. What people hear, see and feel everyday tend to be more important than words. Company founders go to great lengths to obsessively communicate these values as a company grows as to not lose them in the bureaucracy. Strong values are forged as the company grows, helping it defy resistance and overcome obstacles. These values are hardened by sheer habit. Great successful examples are found in Apple and Google.

Do corporate values have a rub-off affect on that company’s brands? Does company behavior affect brand behavior?  Do you trust an iPhone because it from Apple, Gmail because it is a Google product, or mistrust Benadryl because it is from Johnson & Johnson? 

The linkage from company value to brand delivery is how the brands delivers on its consumer promise. Corporate values (whether applied well or let slip) can and do drive both good and brand behavior and the resulting consumer trust and equity.

The following are examples of good and bad brand behavior as a result of a specific corporate value:
Core Company Value
Resulting Positive Brand Behavior
Resulting Negative  Brand Behavior
Innovation / Quick to Market
Quick Wins / Lack of Follow Up
Profit Driven
High Price / High Quality
High Price / Low Quality / Cost Cutting
Consumer Trust
Product Driven Surprise and Delight
Lack of Executional Excellence
Employee Focused
High Service Levels
Safe / Slow to Deliver
Progressive /  Eco Leadership
Minimalist / Boring / Clinical
Values have a big impact on company behavior and performance.   Trust in a brand, both positive and negative,  is certainly a result of that behavior.


Packaging Design said...

Brands live or die on the shelf when consumers get down to the business of making a choice. At that critical moment, your packaging needs to deliver. It’s the one thing that consumers recall, consistently, long after all other elements of the marketing mix have faded away – and sometimes, when marketing budgets are tight or cut altogether, it’s all you have.
Packaging Design

Bob Clark said...

Great Point Packaging Design - packaging, (colors, logos and claims)is always the final moment of truth - you guys have great samples on your site too.

Brand trust based on previous positive or negative experience may become more important after trial.