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Message from Jim Farley

Ford's Group Vice President of Global Marketing, Sales and Service shares his thoughts on the company's new global brand promise Go Further.  Click here for an excerpt from that discussion.

For more of Jim’s perspective, click here to watch the accompanying video.



 What is a Global Brand Promise?

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​DEARBORN - What is a global brand promise?

It is what a brand stands for and how it expresses what it stands for in everything that it does, according to Scott Osman, global director of corporate social responsibility for Landor Associates, one of the world’s top branding firms. 

Jim Farley, group vice president, Global Marketing, Sales & Service, agrees and says one of the most important elements of a global brand promise is that it has to be authentic and true. 

“A brand promise simplifies the culture and what makes a company different in the consumer’s world with the products and services it offers,” he said.  “It distills all that to one promise where when you talk to a neighbor about your workplace or when a customer talks to a neighbor about the vehicle they’re driving it all rolls up into that one thought.” 

Osman says there is a big difference between a brand promise and a tagline.

“A tagline is really a tool that expresses an aspect of the company, but it’s not an enduring part of what the company stands for,” he explained.  “A brand promise is something that endures.” 

One company that stands out for Osman as having an effective brand promise is IBM.

“Their promise of creating a smarter planet very succinctly put tells the story of who they are as a company, what they stand for and how they’re going to put that to use,” he said.  “And when you look at everything they do – what they do internally with their employees and what they do externally with their company – the promise of applying the intelligence of their employees to create a better world is I think one of the most powerful statements out there.”

Osman says part of the promise of a brand in today’s world has to do with its social and environmental commitment as well as its business commitment. 

“Starting in about 2006-7, there was the beginning of a notion that consumers were expecting more from companies than just a product.  They were actually looking for something that improves the planet, broadly spoken,” he said.  “It was really a nascent trend at the time and I think people were a little uncertain about what would happen after the recession but in the end it has accelerated that idea that companies need to provide a benefit beyond just their product and service.”

According to Osman, a compelling brand promise also helps employees do their jobs more effectively.

“I think a great brand promise is a true north star.  It gives employees a sense of why they come to work every day and what they’re supposed to do when they get there beyond just their core job description,” he said.  “It makes people feel differently about their company because they now know how to express what the company stands for.”

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1/4/2012 12:00 PM