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The market changes increasingly rapidly and brands have to be aware of this fact if they wish to stay in the lead. To do that they need diagnostic tools with which to analyse the situation and get ahead of the trends. This article details the five essential perspectives from which to approach brand diagnosis.

Brands must be aware at all times of the strategic concept that inspires them and ensure that their value proposal remains valid, despite the transformations in the market, technology or consumer behaviour that constantly take place.

Diagnostic tools are extremely useful for implementing efficient branding strategy. Regular diagnosis of the brand’s status and management systems becomes a competitive advantage because it enables us to respond to day-to-day and medium-term challenges consistently and significantly. Based on our experience we have developed a method to assess the five fundamental dimensions of our brand management: strategy, impact, internalisation, leadership and management.


Position, objectives and protection. These elements are key to analysing whether a brand is guided by a solid, powerful strategy. The main problems that can be detected in this area include symptoms such as depositioning (when a brand is not clearly positioned in the market or does not use a differentiating element), lack of defined objective (when strategy and tactics are confused so there is no clarity or planning), or lack of protection (due to either lack of internal capacity or to increased rivalry in the sector, which reduces the brand’s value proposal).

In these cases, the brand needs a better strategy aimed at customer needs and expectations, responding in both the short and long term, innovating without overstretching brands and without destructuring portfolios.

Many brands that have been unable to make the correct diagnosis in this area have seen their market position weakened. Occasionally this is due to lack of brand flexibility (when the concept of brand is incapable of adapting to the peculiarities or needs of the market in which it operates) or contrarily, to rushing (the brand works short term and is in no position to make the most of opportunities that present themselves).


Perception is reality. Detecting the causes of a misperception in time is key, before they become proof. In this area we analyse the facts and situations that enable us to assess the significance, renown and adaptation of the brand’s designation, visual or communication elements.

Detecting problems in the brand impact area usually means responding to issues such as scant knowledge of the target public, inability to apply this knowledge to its activity, or taking action that is not appropriate to transmit the desired perception. Coherence and consistency are essential to achieving the right perception for the brand, ensuring a social and emotional dimension, generating loyalty and attracting targets.

The brand must be able to generate brand experience in accordance with its differential positioning, based on a set of rational and emotional stimuli.



Brands represent organisations made up of people. They are complex social realities. In this area we analyse whether the brand acts as a compass, giving direction. The problems encountered in this dimension usually concern dissociation between brand and business, lack of commitment, insufficient resources allocated to the brand or lack of rigour in decision making.

Many brands swing between two extreme symptoms: some suffer from a power vacuum (when there’s no one to lead brand management), and others just have a ‘logo policeman’ who lacks strategic vision. Other times, professionals do have strategic vision, but they’re just a voice in the wilderness and the brand message doesn’t hit home in the organisation.


A brand is a reality that is built from the inside out and in all directions. In this area we analyse how the brand is built internally, how it is born and how strongly it subsequently spreads. In many organisations we detect a type of symptoms that denote internalisation problems: there is no real understanding of what branding is or its importance within the company or sector, there are no shared values or no horizon has been defined to express a long-term view.
These types of symptoms typical of unknown branding mean that the organisation is unable to formulate the raison d’être of the brand, the why and for whom it exists. Consequently, this lack of mission impacts on the capacity to transmit value from the brand to all its targets.


Brand management requires considering processes and methods to direct resources. Management systems are key to ensuring correct implementation of the brand in all points of contact and have their own symptoms: lack of continuity, unilateral management by a given department, too many collaborators (who each interpret the brand in their own way), loss of control, too much control (working by and for the budget, not the brand)…


Targeting a client that changes. enprofundidad_netflix

Reed Hastings founded the on-demand online streaming media provider Netflix having personally understood the needs of traditional customers, who must often pay a rental surcharge if they are late returning films. This is the same as the Amazon process, a company with excellent customer service.


Working target perception. enprofundidad_starbucks
Starbucks defines the third place as an element of impact, and understands humans’ sense of community and living together. This value proposal can be clearly put across to all targets. Equally successfully, Häagen-Dazs has positioned itself with a well-executed, consistent communication strategy that has enabled them to be perceived in the market as they had hoped. This presentation can advance in time: Movistar updated its brand at the right time, despite having a well-known name that was associated only with telephony.



Procter & Gamble completely changed its brand management through leadership, following A.G. Lafley’s appointment as CEO, who committed strongly to leading brands. In this regard, one world leader is undoubtedly Coca-Cola, capable of closely integrating brand and business strategy.



Many leading brands built their brand internalisation on the figure of their chairman or founder. Such is the case of Apple, Virgin and Zappos, with Steve Jobs, Richard Branson and Tony Hsieh at the helm. These leaders are able to inspire a sophisticated internalisation in the organisation and the target publics. From a corporate point of view, 3M has internalised innovation as a corporate raison d’être, a commitment that is obvious in all its products.



Zara has adopted a sophisticated management system by which it measures and monitors what really matters to the brand and the business. The virtue of its integrated IT system enables the monitoring of online shopping, adapting of stock and give customers value in real time, with market intelligence. This management model is connected to its understanding of retail as a showcase and as the main element of communication.

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