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2. Research findings

2.1. Sub question 1 | Theory brand driven innovation

The positioning book is build up as a roadmap through 5 main steps, also known as the MDC model.

Step 1, the identity van de organisation. Step 2, brand architecture. Step 3, target group, Step 4, competitors and step 5, positioning.

The identity of an organisation is distinguished in 6 aspects: history of an organisation, orientation of the organisation, focus on several focus areas, Core competences, active cases in which the organisation exceed, Vision and Mission, a goal that needs to be complied & a goal that needs to be accomplished, Culture of the organisation, the culture handled and manners in the organisation and Values of the organisation.

The history of an organisation forms the fundament of the organisation identity. This historical characteristics are of great influence in an organisation and have a lot of influence on the 5 other aspects involved in the identity of the organisation. The orientation of the organisation is primary focus of the organisation. With can be process oriented (focused logistic processes and efficiency), market oriented (focused on the demand of the customer), a product oriented (focus on quality and innovation) or concept oriented (focus on large idea, for both company and society). The core competences are active cases in which the organisation exceeds. This creates a sustainable competitive advantage (SCA) for the organisation. In the core competences there are four competences first, process oriented, is about internal and external logistics. Second market oriented, is about the knowledge of the market and the customer contact. Third product oriented, is about inventing, development and production and fourth concept oriented, is about motivation of the employees and the teamwork.

The vision is a future image of the market, the mission is a self set goal for the coming 5 to 10 years. The additional value of a vision and mission is created when employees are aware of the mission and vision of the company they work for, the employees feel the mission and vision and are triggered to act and react on the mission and vision.  This related to the organisational culture. According to the book Positioning there are four main cultures: Formal culture, tightly handled organisation, clear procedures present, also known as functional hierarchy. Performance culture, focused on performance of employees, very competitive culture, both internal and external. Family culture, employees are part of the family, focused on good bond with employees, flexible and long term focussed. Adhocracy, very dynamic and flexible, centralised decision making, a real entrepreneurial spirit.

The organisational values are value being pursued by the organisation. These can be socially determined or desired by the organisation. In the process oriented organisation the organisational brand values are identical to the organisational values. In the market oriented organisation the brand values will overlap with the customer values. In the product orientated organisation the brand values will most likely overlap with the employees values. In the concept oriented organisation there are only social value (appendix 1.2.d)

The brand architecture can be divided in three sub group, brand name strategy, brand portfolio and sub-branding. When positioning an organisation it is obvious to use the brand name, this is called a monolithic strategy. The advantages that it will build trust. The disadvantages are that it creates a difficult spot to position and the organisation can address the target group less. When an organisation chooses to give product/service different brand names, this is called a multilithic strategy, in this strategy it is also possible to have different names for the product/service and the brand name, this is called endorsement-strategy. The advantages are that the organisation is capable to introduce products for multiple target groups and can offer products/services based on demand of the market. The disadvantage sis more investments to be made.

The brand portfolio is about three elements, content, financial and strategy.

Mind the Gap. The book Mind the Gap was written explaining the 5 core step to identify the brand gap.

Desired Identiy; what the organisation wants to communicate

Actual Identity; what the organisation actually communicate

Physical Identity; what the organisation present in products/service

Image; what the organisation represent when in contact with their target group

Gap Analysis; gap between desired identity, actual identity, physical identity and the image.

The desired identity, is the identity based on the organisational starting points seen through the eyes of the founder/management of the organisation. This is also known as the brand image, which can be divided in two sub-groups;



The sub-group actual is about the real starting points of the organisation identity, arising from a brand identity research among the employees of the organisation. This includes the appearance, which is build up from the companies protocol, communication resources and behaviour. The sub-group desired, is about the desired starting point of an organisations identity, which is based on goals, and the strategy of the organisation. The desired appearance of the organisation is based on the inside and outside. The inside stands for the company and its employees, the outside stand for the (potential) customers.

The desired identity is build up in four strategic subjects:

Vision, a goal that needs to be complied

Mission, a goal that needs to be accomplished

Core competences, active cases in which the organisation exceeds

Values, ideals pursued by people / the target group

These four strategic subjects together create a package of words, that provide the essence of the desired image.

“A vision is something to be pursued, while a mission is something to be accomplished.”

An example of a good desired identity, correctly translated is from Dove. Dove is very clear in the target/target group they have, on which they build their mission and vision. Creating a clear and structured focus and translating this correctly. (DOVE - CASE STUDY)

An example of an incorrect desired identity is KPN, they have 16 values integrated in their mission and vision. This creates an unstructured mission and vision and no clear target group or target group. Advised to companies is to be clear and have a limit of 6 brand values integrated in a desired identity, with a clear target or target group. These 6 brand values need to have as starting point the identity and image policy of the company. (KPN - CASE STUDY)

The desired identity in combination with the brand values creates the starting points, with which the actual identity, physical identity and the image can be examined. With this exam a company can see in how for the desired identity is being realised and what gaps are still present.

The actual identity is what employees see as typical of the organisation, and elements with what they can identify the organisation. The actual identity is the starting point of which the employees act upon. Based on the behaviour of the employees. These can be researched and identified by spontaneous association with the organisations, ……., the identification of the employee with the organisation and the perception of the external image of the organisation. This can mainly be done by in-dept interviews, group discussions and enquires.

The physical identity is build up out of the desired identity and the actual identity. This includes every moment the target groups is on contact with the organisation. The physical identity can be divided in 5 categories;

Product/Service, all the trade good and the packaging

Information, all communication resources

Symbolics, name, logo and organisational protocols

Environment, physical stores, offices, company cloths

Behaviour, all the employees of the organisations that have contact with the target group

The (organisation) image is the portrait the target groups paint about the organisation. This image is build up out of two element:

The contact between the organisation and the target group with the physical identity of the organisation

The external factors like media, mouth-to-mouth, and origin of the organisation

Elements need to be able to build a clear sketch of the image are:

What is the position of the organisation in the market in opposite to the competitors

What are the associations of the organisation

How are the experiences of the organisation

The gap analysis that follows is divided in three gaps:

Gap 1 | Does the desired identity differences with the actual identity ?

Gap 2 | Is the desired identity match the physical identity ?

Gap 3 | Displays the current image towards the target group different desired images ?

There are three ways to bridge the gaps:

Bridge 1 | Change the desires of the management and/or founders

Bridge 2 | Change the insights of the employees

Bridge 3 | Change the contact points of the physical identity

Brand Driven Innovation

The purpose of the brand driven innovation approach is to stimulate and support the innovation process. In this processes there are three factors of essence, the vision, the ambition and the resources and capabilities of an organisation. In the brand driven innovation approach the brand has two different roles, content and process. The brand can be part of two elements in an organisation, first it can function as the logo of the organisation or second it can function as the corporate identity as part of the logo The brand itself is not the logo, it can be part of it, but is not the logo. A brand driven innovation is not marketing & communication or the other way around. A brand driven innovation can be placed in any department and for anyone who is involved in the process of innovation. With a brand driven innovation it is important that it should bring tangible assets to the organisation. As well as stimulate the current products and services, before all. Innovation is not just a new product brought to the market or new technology, no it is more often a process, service or business model that will help the organisation forward. About creating a sustainable value and using pre-existing technology to create something new, which brings more value to the organisation.  

In general there are 4 stages of brand driven innovation, understanding, focus, design and implementing. In the first stage understanding it is about the understanding of the company context (inside-out) and the understanding of the customers context (outside-in). In the second stage it is about the focus. The focus of the company towards will be on looking at opportunities based on the organisational values and selecting which opportunities are best. On the other side there will also be a focus on the customers and seeing which opportunities are present based on their values. The third stage is all about design. In this stage the organisation or company will use the information in stage two to design a solid organisational support system and design solutions for the customer experience. In stage four it is all about implementation. For the organisation it will be about fine-tuning the organisational support system and explaining the ins and outs to the staff, as well as training them. For the outside it there will be a build a prototype which will be tested under the customers and potential customers, using the orchestration.

Expert interview one was with R. Mulder, teacher and expert in brand driven innovation:

Brand driven innovation can have three purposes:

Using innovation to bridge the gap between the brand identity (inside) and the brand image (outside)

How to use the brand value in innovation to manage expectation

Using innovation to change the brand image

Key elements in brand driven innovation are communication, representation and product/design. Communication is about what you communicate from the inside of the company to the outside. The representation is about the behaviour you have when in contact with you target group and the Product and service that you offer should match the expectations of the customers. Every innovation should fulfil a need, but an organisation should give it their own turn on it. No innovation is the same. A brand driven innovation is a long term solution, you work on it and build on it, building up a brand is not short term. An image is something a company needs to work on really hard to be able to make it successful and match the internal expectation. The difference between brand driven innovation and marketing & communication solution is that a marketing & communication solution is more about making a promise. While a brand driven innovation is about fulfill the promises and aligning them.

If a gap, that needs to be bridged is to large, it could quite a challenge for a brand driven innovation. But every gap can be bridge, sometime it just takes a longer time for it to be bridged. The gaps itself in general is an enabler for brand driven innovation. The brand itself is an enabler for brand driven innovation when it is an establish brand with a good image. A disabler is when you start communicated wrong or incorrect information about the brand, which could do more harm then good.

The role design is very important. It is a way to materialise your brand identity. Wether you design a brochure, sign or product, everything that has a visual appearance and can be relate to the organisation should be designed. To be able to have a good brand, a solid brand guideline is a need. The best attitude for a organisation to take is feel the brand, be the brand, live the brand. It is very important that an organisation is true to the brand and does not only believe it, but take it a step further, living it be convinced of what you are. Otherwise, when it is only a marketing tool, the target group can see through the mask and lose trust in the brand. Do what you say and live it. For example, use social media to create transparency, follow the glasshouse trend, to give customers a view insight the organisation. This way the customers can match the communication from the organisation to the truth of the brand, and show the truth of the image.

It is very important to know your target group. To be able to reach your target group better an organisation really needs to know them. By understanding the target groups need, not only in practical things (products), but also in what they find important and what they are looking for.

Expert interview one was with H. Boekelman, teacher and expert in brand driven innovation:

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