Digital technology has loosened control over brand messages by creating new media channels and social networks. Mergers and acquisitions create overlapping brands within brand portfolios. And the relationships between brands and their customers have now become more open-ended as online discussions extend the brand experience after purchase.
To help manage this complexity and power growth through digital advantage, we bring together deep data analysis and broad experience to take the uncertainty out of the branding process and help clients create great brands.
What we do
McKinsey’s branding group combines proven techniques (qualitative as well as quantitative methods) with deep experience (case studies, reference cases) to help clients create distinctive brands and lucid brand architectures. We serve the world’s leading brands in five primary areas:
- Making brands matter
We help companies define the benefits and experiences that make brands relevant, distinctive, and credible to customers, and develop strategies to differentiate brands through superior positioning relative to competitors. This frequently means repositioning established brands to better meet customer needs.
- Optimizing brand portfolios and architectures
As marketers launch many new brands and sub-brands to address their customers’ fragmented needs, we help define the roles and relationships of brand assets within a portfolio and consolidate brands to reduce complexity, overlap, and costs—all within a coherent brand architecture.
- Delivering the brand promise at all touchpoints
It’s never enough to simply conceive of a great brand. The brand promise must be delivered at all places of contact with the customer, both online and off. Our holistic understanding of business and the modern multichannel environment allows us to collaborate effectively with our clients in implementing brand strategies—and help specify what the organization must do to deliver a consistent brand experience to customers.
- Building client capabilities
Developing world-class branding capabilities allows clients to own their brand strategies and brands. We work to structure and design roles and role descriptions, and use training academy designs to help employees learn by doing.
- Tracking and sustaining impact
We help clients develop the metrics they need to understand where they started from (relative to peers and/or other industries) and to measure the impact of their efforts.
Examples of what we do
- For a fashion apparel company, we developed the customer insights and segmentation needed to reposition brands.
- We worked with a leading car manufacturer to strengthen brand and market position through streamlined marketing communications.
- We helped a pharmaceutical company develop a brand tracking and management system to boost quality control and allow easy comparison of data across countries and time periods.
Proprietary tools and solutions
We partner with leading institutions. With AC Nielsen for example, we created NM Incite, a joint venture that combines consulting capabilities with deep media data and analytics to help companies more effectively use social media to meet business goals.
BrandMatics is an analytically powerful and structurally clear-cut three-step approach to mapping current brand positions, estimating how well they’ll perform all along the purchase “funnel,” and simulating the effect of individual brand tactics on the total brand portfolio.
McKinsey’s Marketing Navigator was made with the marketer in mind. This tool translates complex marketing return-on-investment (ROI) data into simple designs and visualizations to help marketers across widespread organizations do what they are supposed to do with data: make better decisions.