Landor created this model by interviewing more than 20 Fortune 500 companies, identified best practices, and spoke with industry insiders to better
understand the challenges facing brand governance today. Find it simplified in our way.

Revolutionizing the way we manage brands:

The Brand Community
Model.

A profound shift.The Brand Community Model3 levels of communities.3 levels of brandPutting the model to work.

Section 1

A profound shift.

Brand governance

The term sounds so foreboding & severe.

Brands are
presented consistently
Guidelines are properly
executed
Rules
are followed

That role is now changing dramatically

The key factor differentiating top-performing brands is

Agility

The ability to remain true to the brand
while adapting to a rapidly evolving environment.
Embracing a greater
degree of
risk
Tolerating
more failure
Ceding
control

The goal

To establish a new model of brand governance—one as resilient and flexible as the brands it serves.

5

challenges facing brand governance today

Brand has never been more important—or more marginalized

Organizations lack understanding about what brand does and how it should be used. Brand leaders aren’t included early on in brand and business decisions.

The brand team is perceived as “brand cops”

Brand managers are placed in the role of reactive monitors rather than proactive leaders. Brand leaders are not treated as part of the corporate strategy team.

The traditional brand toolkit no longer fits

Adherence to guidelines doesn’t guarantee being on brand.
Command-and-control tactics make brands rigid,inefficient, and unrelatable.

The focus is on what instead of why

Brand leaders are overly focused on “what to do with the assets” rather than the why behind the brand.

There is little room to experiment or take risks

All decisions are treated as having equal weight. Brand is inflexible, unable to tolerate small inconsistencies.
Brand management has traditionally been occupied with constructing rigid edifices—polished logos, perfected environments, and carefully scripted experiences.
Standard brand governance practices are no longer effective. Brands today are shaped by innumerable people across multiple channels and experiences. These groups include employees, partners, agencies, and a wider set of thirdparty influencers and superfans.

Section 2

The brand community model

Learning to let go has been key to our success

The following framework illustrates how audiences and brand expressions come together to bring a brand to life.

Section 3

3 levels of communities.

Learning to let go has been key to our success

The following framework illustrates how audiences and brand expressions come together to bring a brand to life.

Experts

The Expert community includes leadership, brand and marketing teams, and agency partners. Experts understand the why behind everything the brand does. Their job is to set strategy and define the future of the brand.
The second group is made up of the people who implement a brand in the marketplace. They have strong knowledge of the why of the brand, but at a more general level than Experts. This group includes product developers and client managers— and also external brand ambassadors and influencers.

Practitioners

Employees, the third community, represent the brand on the front lines of consumer interaction. While every employee may not require access to the full range of brand assets and technical guidelines, they must be able to speak for the brand, make quick decisions, and react appropriately to customer requests.

Employees

Section 4

3 levels of brand expressions.

Just as communities can be identified according to role, brand expressions can be categorized by priority. They fall into 3 main groups:

Sacred

The Expert community includes leadership, brand and marketing teams, and agency partners. Experts understand the why behind everything the brand does. Their job is to set strategy and define the future of the brand.
The second group is made up of the people who implement a brand in the marketplace. They have strong knowledge of the why of the brand, but at a more general level than Experts. This group includes product developers and client managers— and also external brand ambassadors and influencers.

Interpretive

Employees, the third community, represent the brand on the front lines of consumer interaction. While every employee may not require access to the full range of brand assets and technical guidelines, they must be able to speak for the brand, make quick decisions, and react appropriately to customer requests.

Exploratory

Section 5

Putting the model to work

Identifying the various communities and expressions of a brand is just the beginning.
Success comes from mobilizing the communities and giving them a shared sense of purpose and responsibility.
Here are 5 actions brand leaders should take to develop strong communities.

Prioritize & delegateading

Brand leaders must prioritize the most important decisions and expressions, while delegating others.

1

Require agency collaboration

A great idea can come from anyone, at any level of an organization, at any time. The same is true of agency partners, who can cross-pollinate each other’s thinking.

2

Broaden the brand team

Shifting the brand conversation from what (what assets to use, what the guidelines say) to why (why we use assets in specific ways, why the brand holds its core beliefs) enables deeper understanding of how the brand functions.

3

Shift from what to why

Specific missions and incentives can create a stronger connection to the brand.

4

Embed the brand

Employee engagement when done properly keeps everyone in sync with the brand and focused on its future.

5

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1. Prioritize & delegate 2. Require agency collaboration 3. Broaden the brand team 4. Shift from what to why 5. Embed the brand

It takes a community

Focus on :

1

• Rallying everyone — employees and external partners,
to play a role in bringing the brand to life

2

• Prioritizing decisions — and brand expressions

3

• Fostering flexibility — and intuition

Unnerving and uncharted as it may be, managing by community is the path of the future—and the surest way for agile brands to hold their competitive edge in a constantly shifting marketplace.

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