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How whole brands dominate, and what it takes to build one.

How whole brands dominate, and what it takes to build one.

This is the most vital time in history to be in the brand-building business. 

While most brands — what we call fragmented brands — are scrambling to find their footing, whole brands are creating sustainable and dominant growth. This reveals a new mindset for how modern business leaders consider their brand — as the sum of every experience a consumer has with a company or organization, a 360-degree definition of brand that understands every action a brand takes, inside and out, is the brand. 

Whole Brand Thinking™ leads to companies, organizations, teams and people understanding they are all responsible for the brand, not just the marketing department. They apply creativity across the whole brand spectrum, the vast array of actions available for brand-building, from business ideas to marketing ideas. This spectrum is a workshop and playground, a starting point for idea development that will make the brand as valuable as possible. 

Whole Brand Thinking solves for the complicated problems that result when the parts that make up a business aren’t working as one. It is a powerful tool for opportunity spotting, internal integration, collaboration, alignment, communication and growth. When a business works as a unified whole, it evolves into something much greater than the sum of its parts: A whole brand. Such brands are designed for growth, outperforming competitors and building market value and superiority as a result. Need proof? Take a look at our most recent study: “The 360 Degree Advantage: How whole brands dominate.” It contains the results of our first Whole Brand Study: an analysis of 123 brands in 16 categories. It’s an introduction to both the model and measurement (Whole Brand Index) of the power and performance of such brands. 

The Four Elements of a Whole Brand

We developed these four attributes of a whole brand based on how modern consumers view and experience brands. While our study delves into the performance measurements of such brands — product, brand culture, experience, design and communication — we have made correlations to complete this definition and determine which brands are truly “whole.” 

  1. A whole brand is an organization that treats everything it does as the brand. 
  2. A core, long idea guides, inspires and connects every action a whole brand takes, across the spectrum of marketing ideas to business ideas. We call this the red thread
  3. A whole brand is full of purpose and action, and it matches what it says and does internally with what it says and does externally. 
  4. A whole brand measures success holistically by balancing profit and performance across the Whole Brand Spectrum with its impact on people, communities and the planet. 

In today’s market, brands can’t hide. Now more than ever, consumers and communities demand transparency and valuable impact for brands. No longer can a company be one thing and a brand be another. They are one in the same forevermore. This requires business leaders to scrap old definitions and commit to a new mindset that treats everything as brand. 

This is the first of many examples of how whole brands will dominate markets to come, giving marketing leaders for brands and their C-suite counterparts proof of the impact of 360-degree thinking and how a collective, systematic approach to brand building can change the trajectory and future of brands.

For more on how we build whole brands visit wholebrandproject.com.

Barkley US

Jan 07, 2021

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Brand Culture,Culture,Email,Gen Z,Marketing,Media,Millennial,Purpose,Research,Restaurant,Retail,Scratch,Social Media,Travel,Whole Brands


Brand Culture, Marketing, Millennial, Modern Consumer, Purpose, Research
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