Five Examples of Brand First in Action

Brand First is our guiding principle to ultimately differentiate organizations and create long-term value. With a Brand First approach, every action starts with a fundamental understanding of the brand and then feeds back to it. Every aspect of the organization will be touched by the approach, but it especially provides positive impact in these five ways.

1. Alignment with Brand Purpose

Your brand purpose is your ultimate “why.” It’s the reason you got in business, the ultimate need you serve for your clients. But sometimes both internal and external audiences can drift away from the purpose or have difficulty communicating it. When Conagra Foodservice recognized this disconnect with the school lunch, they created a strategic rebranding of the experience that aligned with their purpose.

Their launch of Rethink School Meals included educational materials and highlighted a School Meal Hero program that showcased local heroes who craft school meals. The program positioned the brand as a valuable consultant to schools across America and reconnected everyone involved with their purpose—serving great meals at school.

2. Unification Across the Enterprise

When organizations aren’t Brand First, people and departments get caught up with what they think the brand means and what they identify as their responsibilities. Often they aren’t sure or don’t realize how they are connected to and build the brand.

The pros at myCUmortgage® had everything they needed to provide credit unions with the ability to get more members into new homes. But their message wasn’t resonating with potential partners and associates weren’t communicating the message consistently. To get everyone pulling in the same direction, they developed a unique and consistent voice for the brand with a powerful rallying cry, “This is how we mortgage.” An all-hands event and brand reveal got roaring, companywide cheers and applause, and sent the team into the market with a single voice.

3. Promotes Agility

Being Brand First ensures that organizations know their brand purpose and are close to their audience. This enables Brand First organizations to take advantage of fleeting opportunities as they arise and evolve with their audiences without dramatic shifts that could alienate customers.

That’s exactly what Bud Light® was able to do during the 2017 – 18 NFL season in alignment with their desire to capitalize on events and experiences. When a player promised free beer on social media for the city of Philadelphia if they would win the championship, Bud Light jumped on the opportunity. When the team was victorious, the result was an official “Philly Philly Day” parade. It was “the most successful marketing campaign we’ve ever done,” said VP of Consumer Connections João Chueiri, claiming that volumes grew 30% in Philadelphia alone.

4. Enables Customer Engagement Optimization

Customer Engagement Optimization occurs when your brand personality, voice and values are aligned with the technology and platforms used to communicate that personality. If you don’t have a clear understanding of your brand, you won’t be able to select the proper technology to convey your message to any of your audiences, external, internal, or otherwise.

That’s why Orvis®, a company dedicated to the outdoors and exceptional customer experience, is committed to meet their customers wherever they are in both the technology and physical realms. From brick and mortar retail stores to the web to educational schools, their Brand First approach aligns the Orvis voice with their technology to achieve optimize Customer Engagement Optimization. “It’s simple, if all of our channels are in alignment, our brand message will be louder and heard by many more consumers,” said Bill Reed, Director of Wholesale at Orvis.

5. Builds Long-Term Value

A Brand First approach creates a more valuable brand that enables you to charge a premium (13% by one account) and increases your power to grow (four times more likely to grow value share during the next 12 months). That will enhance your long-term revenue potential—which is what investors and stakeholders should really care about.

That’s why Keir Education Resources turned to rebranding when faced with an increasingly competitive market. Keir began the process with a full Brand Audit, including an evaluation of their current marketing strategy and materials. After the rebranding, everyone took notice, including a much larger competitor. Soon afterward, the competitor acquired Keir Educational Resources at a premium as a complement to their offering. They continue to use the new branding because of the strength of their new presence.

Put Your Brand First

Being Brand First is the single most important thing that marketers can do. Your brand should serve as your foundation for everything you do, but it can’t if it’s ignored.

Download the ebook, Brand First … Right After I Do This Other Thing to learn more.

Ebook: Brand First


* Orvis and Bud Light are not current or prior clients of Wilson Advertising.
All trademarked and copyrighted names, marks and logos are the property of their respective companies. *