Nick Licence sat down with fellow Dentsu leaders Moensie Rossier and Koichi Yamamoto as they attempt to have a “realistic” fireside chat and discuss the Modern Masterbrand at Advertising Week Asia. “Modern Masterbrand” is a process Dentsu created to help brands becomes the master of their company.
“In this world, every brand needs to go through a continuous process of transformation or they will go extinct.” —Koichi Yamamoto, Executive Creative Director, CDC & Chief Strategy Officer, DBA APAC, Dentsu Inc.
In the past, you could build a brand, and that brand would last forever, but that business model is lost now. In the past, we’d work to ask how the brand could support the business. Continuous transformation now is the key. Now it’s how can our brand lead the transformation, and how can the brand lead the charge, both externally and internally? In Japan, companies tend to be conservative, and the business decision making process can be notoriously slow and risk aversive, but more and more the pressure is there for change.
In Australia, there’s so much external volatility, there is pressure to navigate change. Moensie explains that brands must choose to drive the course of their change and try to control their destiny, or be at the mercy of change. Long-term brand building must be the goal of the corporation, and putting marketing right at the center of a corporation and use it as the driving force. Instead of solely focusing on the short-term, quarterly driven sales spikes, Dentsu suggests the value of long-term brand building as a higher value for the organization. Moensie suggests instead of abandoning either the long-term brand building or the short-term sales spikes, better balancing an organization’s budget between the two.
Dentsu uses an “Inside-Out” approach to a brand’s position in a company. As company’s scale up, it can be difficult to remember the initial brand focus, but Dentsu like to remind company’s to keep the brand as the center focus and realize the strength of “living the brand.” The strong, real source of a brand’s continued strength is the employees. There is a need to retain a strong culture within an organization because that is what creates a “unique brand experience.”
While “user experience” and “customer experience” are important and part of being consumer-centric in approach, that can always be replicated by competition. Dentsu recommends the “unique brand experience” which is all about putting a unique brand filter on that customer experience. Becoming too customer-centric can cause an organization to lose their focus, but creating the unique brand experience both caters to the customer and retains the brand strength. Brands need a unique identity, or backbone of the brand, like the value and the culture of the brand, to carry the organization for the long-term.
Moensie gives the AWAsia audience a deep-dive into how Dentsu views a “transformative” brand. While “transformative” is a buzzword of late, she explains that it’s a positive thing for a brand because it means change and the ability to change as needed is important to stay relative to consumers and to not stay at the mercy of change. Transformation is not wholesale, but is relative to each brand and what is relevant at the time, including that brand’s culture, product quality, leadership credentials, and more. The Denstu Masterbrand model encapsulates the need for transformation, both long and short term opportunities, and the fundamentals of the brand and the brand’s business.
Masterbrands find that central idea and turn it into a true organizational belief that drives internal values and behavior.
Watch the entire panel, “Age of the Modern Masterbrand” on AWReplay here.