Brand governance in the age of marketing transformation: Insights from leading brand experts

Brand governance in the age of marketing transformation: Insights from leading brand experts

Consistent branding is already quite demanding within the borders of one country, but it holds even more complex challenges on a global level.

In our German webinar, we discussed the topic of brand governance together with Andreas Gall (CEO and Founder, HUMAN-CENTRIC-INNOVATORS), Claudia Illguth (Managing Director, Dragon Rouge Hamburg), and Francesco Camillo (Head of Global Creative, The Adecco Group). The three experts illustrated how to achieve the balance between global brand consistency and local creativity.

Post-pandemic: The urge for creativity

As a transformation specialist with more than 30 years of experience in the analog and digital world — including 17 years at Red Bull — Andreas learned a lot about global brand governance.

The discussion began with questions about why brand governance is more than a buzzword and why it’s in demand more than ever.

According to Andreas, people are hungry for something new again after the pandemic: They want to make a difference, and they want to do so outside their usual boundaries. In doing so, however, they need to be explicitly mindful of what happens to their brand so that they don’t risk that involved stakeholders becoming too self-sufficient. The extreme growth in new services and platforms also presents brands with entirely different challenges and conditions that they must address. Everything is becoming more complex and requires control and structure, which requires transparent communication. The human factor is crucial here:

“If you’re operating internationally and can't sit next to someone at all times at all times, you have to create structures. [...] We have to pay attention together, and that only succeeds with the human factor: with communication and dialog, realism and friendship,” said Andreas.

Brand communities: The key to success

The Adecco Group — the world’s leading staffing company with its many sub-brands — has more than 33,000 employees and 5,200 offices in 60 countries and regions worldwide. Complex global structures and local multi-brand systems make it difficult to implement brand consistency. Effective brand management helps brand managers at The Adecco Group balance central control and local creative flexibility.

For example, campaigns are managed by the so-called Marketing Service Shield Center (MSS), where Francesco and his 30-people design team work. If the team in Germany wants to set up a new marketing campaign with Amazon, it’s built and executed in collaboration with the MSS.

According to Francesco, classic methods are outdated. The future lies in the creation of brand communities, which are based on two pillars: collaboration and communication.

“Creativity is important. But it must be ensured that the brand identity is maintained. Close collaboration and communication are key here and lead to greater efficiency and success,” Francesco said.

Local, global or glocal?

At the global creative agency Dragon Rouge, Claudia works with international brands, including the Henkel Beauty Care portfolio, Douglas, and Mondelēz. Glocalization is a trend that has particularly caught her eye lately. In her experience, the success of international projects depends on a team that’s well-positioned from the outset and includes all relevant stakeholders — from a global and local perspective. However, it’s important to note here that assets are provided centrally and that the teams invest in dedicated onboarding sessions. Claudia added:

“Nowadays, efficient brand management can no longer succeed by providing a PDF document — it has to be brought to life and experienced. It needs to be clearly communicated what’s fixed and what’s flexible.”

To enable creative flexibility for local teams a framework model or set of rules can also serve as an aid. Here, one doesn’t impose limits or rigid guidelines on the regional teams but gives them the confidence to enable them. “With this mindset, you get all stakeholders on board and achieve the common goal,” summarized Claudia.

Learn more about how you can achieve effective brand governance by downloading our report

Download our in-depth report to learn about governing global brands: Read compelling case studies, explore agency-brand operating models for success, and find strategies to anticipate and overcome challenges.

Want to explore how a brand management solution can help you meet the challenges of global brand management? Then get in touch with someone from our Frontify Team.

Anneke Matsis
Anneke Matsis
Field Marketing DACH