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A Study in Brand Engineering

By: Remyi Fredson-Cole
Posted: April 27, 2012, from the May 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 3 of 4

Edia assembled this model for its styling aid product line. We wanted to identify what vendors or stages where critical for a quality product to be delivered on time. For example, the formulator plays a pivotal role in sourcing a product, and the availability of the ingredients required to produce a product adds another level of criticalness. This means that all downstream and ancillary factors following this have to be based off the formulator’s time lines for product delivery.

Building a Brand Model

Once you storyboard your product development process and build a vendor network matrix that supports it, you need to figure out where to go from here. For Edia, we found it important to assemble production-ready samples, which allowed us to create a profit/loss statement based on the cost of the line and the associated packaging, shipping and customs expenses tied to the production run. Moreover, from a production integrity standpoint, this helped in understanding the exact process, sourcing partners, their individual quality assurance standards, and what the combined product looked like once fully assembled.

But playing out the storyboard doesn’t stop with just the production run. It also plays into developing the organization, which supports the brand through functions such as marketing and operations. This establishes parameters, created by employers, for which employees need to do what for the operations and logistics business, as well as when they need to do it and how it affects their counterparts downstream, whether that be external vendors or other employees.

For example, employers should set policies for job roles that are aligned with the mission statement of the organization, and the resulting employee action should be individually contributing deliverables that follow the policies and mission statement. Another example is employers creating ethical codes of conduct that reach across financial and moral guidelines, and for employees to then tactically and operationally function with sound judgment that is in sync with personal and corporate standards.

This method also can be adapted for a product development organization to establish objectives, expectations and deliverables. You can develop job role policies that are aligned with your mission statement and brand principles, where the principles are translated into job roles for designers, managers and brand ambassadors. Then connect those job roles to individual deliverables that are regionally focused.