How to use Assess your 'Organisation' Brand Tool

Please use the ‘13+1 Brand Imperative’ system framework to self-assess your 'Organisation' brand. In the last couple of weeks, over 100 leaders and 20 renowned brands have done so.

We deeply hope it will contribute differently to your brand, your strategy and how you engage others on both. It is not yet another or the latest framework, which we all get too many of. It has to rise or fall on the usefulness of its application to point to your absolute brand priority(ies), what to focus on first while our brave new world pushes us to ‘tweak every handle’.

We are delighted to offer free access to the interactive diagnostic tool for you to assess your 'Organisation' brand. It takes from 5 minutes to as much as you find useful, provides a report…and we will not follow up except if you explicitly request so.

STEP 1 - your Ratings

Enter your rating from 1 to 5 below. The meaning of each imperative can be easily accessed by clicking on its title.

The scale is:
1. Low - 2. Medium - 3. Good - 4. Strong - 5. Master

  • An organisation’s purpose is the reason why it exists and has been given the right by society to participate. So, do we and other associates to the brand / organisation have a clear response to the questions: Why are we and why am I here? Are we all clear about the role the organisation plays in society, which provides a framework for independent and confident decision making? Is our purpose simple enough that it is widely understood, remembered and followed through such as our stakeholders rally behind the idea? Exemplary brands – IBM, Olympics, Ikea, Unilever, Nike, Lego.
  • If a brand were a person, culture would be who this person deeply is, believes in and what can hardly be changed about him/her. A person is culture born, so is our brand culture born? Are we and other associates to the brand sharing a common culture, being the ‘glue’ of the organisation? Is this culture clear and can others and us express it simply? Do the organisation’s values, character and behaviours reflect our common culture closely? Do we and our organisation act with a high level of transparency and cultural genuineness? Exemplary brands – Toyota, Walmart, Ikea, IBM
  • Does our organisation provide relevant, tangible, purpose-led and valuable functional benefits, which are branded, clear to your stakeholders, valued and continuously improved? AND…in a competitive world where there is limited differentiation from manufacturing or distribution, does our brand imbue strong emotional benefits to create an inspiring bond with stakeholders and customers – either personal (lifestyle) or societal (me/us and the world)? Is it a ‘love’ brand and are we clear about why and how? Ultimately, do our brand and organisation tend to develop quality long-term relationships? Exemplary brands - BMW, Coca-Cola, Apple, Harley Davidson, Starbucks.

  • What does BMW have in common with Airbnb, with the International Olympic Committee and some others? Success and joy – or, rather, success through joy. Is there joy in our brand? Is joy seen as an important start point to enhance people and stakeholders experience and relationships? Do we imbue the five main sources of joy: employee happiness; nostalgia of a happy past; belonging, being respected and part of something bigger; escaping routine; success and status? Exemplary brands – Christmas, Coca-Cola, the Olympics, Johnnie Walker, Andrex, Target.
  • Is our brand deeply connected, i.e. does it develop an extensive understanding of its audiences and stakeholders to learn about and anticipate their expectations? Does it develop a relationship model that makes people feel valued and ready to give their discretionary contribution, including loyalty and advocacy? Is it defining to communities? Would we say that our brand has transformed business targets into audiences, communication into dialogue, transactions into trust? Does it have multiple third-party ambassadors and advocates? In local markets, has the brand adopted the cultural symbols, practices and expectations of the national cultures? Exemplary brands - Airbnb, Smirnoff, Tesla, Utility Warehouse.
  • Is the relationship between our organisation’s brand and people undoubtedly built on the following three pillars? 1. The Brand leads people and acts as their guide, their ultimate frame of reference for making (independent) decisions, as well as determining their behaviours. 2. Every employee is a brand ambassador and our brand is transparently and authentically ‘Inside – Out’. 3. There is strong identification between our CEO and broader leadership and the brand. The CMO - or equivalent - is the visible day-in, day-out architect of the brand. Exemplary brands – Zappos, Google, Tata, BMW.

  • Why would we want to do it all alone? Can we be best at everything? Do we possess infinite resources? Does our brand collaborate with its stakeholders? Does it create deep partnerships and rich eco-systems to innovate and deliver its services? Does it understand the power of advocacy? Does it achieve much higher returns because partners and stakeholders magnify its activities? As partnering is a ‘hit and miss’ process that fails far more times that it succeeds, does our organisation practice co-operations as a science? Exemplary brands – IBM, Cisco.
  • Would we say that our organisation has a deep culture of placing the customer | stakeholder first and that our brand purpose is customer driven with zero compromise? Is our brand absolutely clear about who our ultimate customers | stakeholders are? Does this understanding define the organisation’s focus on providing an experience or a lifestyle platform which will inspire our target customers | stakeholders? How is our brand performing on the 10 key tenets of customer centricity? Could our brand genuinely say to its customers | stakeholders “If it is good for you, it’s good for us.” Exemplary brands – O2, American Express, Aldi, Amazon.
  • In front of ‘uberisation’, platformisation or other type of transformation, is our brand developing the two magic powers to deal with this; 1) See, shape and create the future; 2) Be future proof, to enable the enterprise’s transition into the future. Deep into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, would we say that our organisation embraces the ongoing societal and cross - category shifts that are shaping the future? Are these transformations, notably digital, central to the sustainable development of our brand? Are our associates fully or at least largely associated with seeing and navigating into the future? Exemplary brands – Haier, GE, Facebook.

  • Are we clear on where our brand sits in the ‘rigour & discipline’ house: survival, incentive or differentiation? Does our brand consider rigour, discipline and consistency of execution major points of differentiation, because it is so hard to achieve? Are we enchanted with the consistency of execution of our brand? Is ‘Implementation is strategy’ true to our brand? Is our organisation principled and structured about the practices required by brands to be high on the scale of disciplined execution? Exemplary brands – The Olympics, Diageo, BMW, Amazon.
  • Is our brand leading the organisation’s strategy, making the business ‘brand led’ rather than the brand an outcome of changing business strategies? Is our brand the organisation’s compass, driving the organisation’s participation strategy, activities, people and relationships, and practices? Is the Strategic Brand acting as an enduring guide, simplifying decision and action, and empowering people to operate accordingly? Were there examples in recent times when strategic decisions appeared at odds with our brand? Exemplary brands – Unilever, O2
  • A brand is ‘owned’ by its stakeholders. Do we consider trust as the most coveted outcome of what our organisation does? Does our brand inherently possess and live the four types of trust: competence, judgment, benevolence and integrity? Across sectors and geographies, do we have and continue earning trust from our stakeholders? Do we have evidence that trust in our brand translates effectively into reputation and ultimately to better outcomes? Exemplary brands – Tata, Disney, Rolex, BMW.

  • A brand is all about value – financial but by far not only. Can we demonstrate that our brand power creates value in such ways that the financial market, CEOs and CFOs rally behind it? Do we capture and measure the value of the brand itself? Does our business model link clearly brand to value generation – value from the brand? Can we clearly associate the organisation’s brand with some of the following sources of value: stock price, profitability, growth, efficiency, transformation, licence to operate, access and shield? Consequently, do we view the brand as a business imperative that protects and drives value creation and growth and invest accordingly into it on a continuous and meaningful basis? Exemplary brands – Google, Apple, Amazon, Lego, Nike, Ferrari, Visa, McKinsey
  • A crisis is the ultimate test of whether a brand is Strategic. Have we tested our brand against many possible dramatic crises in ‘peace time’ and embedded the learning in our brand development plan? Does our brand hold a strong reservoir of goodwill such that it can survive almost any crisis – not only to recover from it but also to surpass pre-crisis status? Can we prove the robustness of our brand franchise or are we at risk that it vanishes soon after the crisis inception? Exemplary brands – Johnson & Johnson, BP, Toyota

step 2 - Your Results

Now generate your chart and go to step 3 to receive your PDF report.

Your total scores for your 'Organisation' brand is : 0 out of 70

step 3 - Your Report

Now fill in your details below and submit to receive an email with your PDF report. For the avoidance of doubt, there will be no follow up communication from 'THE Strategic Brand' team except if you explicitly request one.

step 4 - your interpretation & Plan

Far from THE Strategic Brand to suggest a standardized feed back here, as it would be both badly incomplete and most likely wrong. However, here are a few criteria and / or questions which you might want to consider while reviewing your assessment:

Overall score

Providing first a broad sense of your 'Organisation' brand strength as a ‘Strategic Brand’.

Your total scores for your 'Organisation' brand is : 0 out of 70

Please refer to the following simple diagnostic scale to guide your analysis:

High-level diagnosis on the basis of scores
  1. An above 60 score - 4.3 average - represents a world-class brand, subject to not having low individual imperative scores (ref. next section). Your main priority is to maintain this strength level.
  2. An above 49 score - 3.5 average - represents a strong or very strong brand. It nevertheless requires a strategic plan to become a true Enduring Strategic Brand
  3. A below 49 score can’t be considered representing a Strategic Brand and guides towards various levels of plans, ranging from systematic brand review and enhancement to complete reinvention.
High-level diagnosis on the basis of benchmarking
  1. If your brand is above a 55 score, congratulations and you are in quartile one.
  2. Second quartile is between 55 and 49, well correlated with ‘strong’ brand, although not yet a Strategic Brand
  3. The strongest density of brand scores falls between the 44 to 49 scores making up the third quartile.
  4. The fourth quartile is for brands with scores under 44 – 3.1 average and require a strong intervention.
Individual imperative review

Do you have Imperatives scores of 1 and 2? Consider this as a weakness and/or a risk. A deep dive into the root causes and possible remediation for this (these) individual imperative(s) would be highly advised.

Do you have Imperatives scores of 5? These are jewels and a deep dive into what makes up this exceptional performance would help consolidate them. Please also test if this advantage is leveraged appropriately.

Do you have Imperatives scores of 3 or 4? They should be reviewed and analysed, as they carry both the opportunity of upgrade and risk of downgrade. Individual plans should be drawn for those imperatives of particular importance to the organisation’s value creation model.

Sub-system imperative review

Equally important is to run the analysis combining selections of imperatives, as guided by the scores. Let’s use a couple of examples as a mean of illustration:

Would you have strong scores - 4 or 5 - for ‘clarity of purpose’, ‘culture born & authentic’, ‘people led & people leading’, ‘strategy guiding’; and relatively low ones - 3 or less - on ‘functional & emotional’, ‘future embracing’ and ‘high value & driving value’? You are probably an extraordinarily coherent functional 'Organisation' brand, but with an insufficiently perceived differentiation and a significant risk of disintermediation or obsolescence.

Would you have strong scores - 4 or 5 - for ‘connected’, ‘customer centric’ and ‘high value & driving value’; and relatively low ones - 3 or less - on ‘partnering’, ‘rigorous & disciplined’ and ‘crisis resilient’? You are probably a remarkably perceptive and appealing 'Organisation' brand but with major risks and vulnerabilities over time when you might disappoint and ‘the charm’ ceases to operate.

We hope these indications on the brand diagnostic help your thinking and of course to form plans towards a resilient Enduring Strategic Brand. Please let us know if you would value a next level exchange on the findings, where we can notably use our extensive ‘Strategic Brand’ benchmark.

Many thanks for using the Strategic Brand assessment tool.