IMG's Robert Birge, on Brand Management.

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Here's an interesting little conversation I found on Craig Montgomery's blog yesterday.

Craig: Right now what is the hottest brand out there? Why do you think they are so successful?

Robert Birge (IMG's new SVP/Chief Marketing Officer): "It’s becoming a trite answer, but it’s hard to think of any brand that’s hotter than Apple. They have continued to capture cultural significance. The company’s strategy is driven by a differentiated vision stemming from their vision as opposed to an outdated, “marketing-led” model (i.e. have the consumer define the company’s direction leading to uninspired incrementalism). Apple’s vision can be seen in everything they do. While many companies view “brand” as the domain of marketing, Apple understands that business strategy and the brand are indistinguishable, and clearly Apple’s brand manager is named Steve Jobs."


"Apple understands that business strategy and the brand are indistinguishable." Thank you, Robert. We could definitely use more guys like you out here.

Craig: If you could give advice to any company right now who is struggling with its brand, what would it be?

Robert: "Start with your competitive business strategy and ask the basic questions. If you don’t believe you have a differentiated and relevant business strategy, it’s going to be challenging for anyone to craft a compelling brand story. If you believe that your brand is lagging your business strategy, then there should be focus on looking for more compelling marketing execution. Too often, business leaders look to their marketing to define their business strategies with an advertising “positioning” as the proxy, when in fact, the core problem is the lack of a differentiated business strategy. If a CEO wants a brand as powerful as Apple, they should take on the role of brand manager."

Thanks for saying it. It isn't said enough.

Read the rest of this very cool interview/conversation here

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