Self-organising complex marketing systems LO26742

From: Chris Macrae (
Date: 05/28/01

Replying to LO26741 --

Chris Klopper asked Chris Macrae-
Towards the end of your contribution three sentences starting with 'You....'
> are tucked into an important paragraph:
> 1. You don't have a strategy without the right brand architecture
> 2. You won't have fast communal knowledge-sharing...
> 3. You don't know if you have an efficient or clueful way of
> interacting
....4. Analysts playing in front of the grandstand filled with stakeholders
> and shareholders
> 5. etc

>> Who might that YOU be, making these statements?

Chris Macrae "tries" to reply: In my mail "You" was most typically
addressed to a company's leadership team or boardroom, but it could have
been addressed to management consultants or anyone at the top claiming to
have a strategy or ...

ultimately 6) customers (net-connected, in a word of more transparent
information links) will demand it!! At least following the logic of UK
investigative journalist Alan Mitchell and his recent book Right Side Up
which claims that marketing has to be reinvented form being supply-side to
buyer-side as its raion d'etre

I (too) believe that marketing (or what a company stands for uniquely in
delivering value,including what its there as an organisation to learn , as
well as unlearn) has to be a core activity shared/lived by everyone in the
company. Within my awareness, the most general definition of
marketing/branding is developing the relationship capital of the business
with all its stakeholders. By definition, that is beyond the capacity of
one man to "manage"; it is interacted mainly* at the core by all the human
parts of the company which as a whole need to be more than their sum to be
productive in a sustaining way.

(*circa 1950 there was an argument that the primary loci of marketing was
products, but that's history! Both because we now live in what people are
variously calling the knowledge/intangibles/intellectual-capital/new
economy AGE and because intangibles NOW represent the vast majority of
worth of company's balance sheets -for any company in a worldwide market)
an this is quintessentially determined by what human beings know how to
serve and what human beings are competent at both knowledge sharing and
acting on and how communally trustwothy you all are . )

This isn't easy for organisations who have never practised it before, but
its not impossible to charter (worldwide, we've chartered this in about
1000 projects since the publication of my 1996 book "Brand Chartering -
how brand organisations learn living scripts" and through other works that
have taken up the baton eg "Brand Leadership" by Aaker and Joachimsthaler;
Living the Brand by Nicholas Ind"...

YES definitely this whole ideology should also extend beyond "companies"
to any would-be world class identities such as eg capital cities like New
York... this too can be a great frontier for systemising what a community
agrees it stands for in all its relationships (why its unique or
differentially best at within its geographical neighbours , why its worth
whose trust, what its experentially fun to be living in etc) - and how it
value exchanges with all the human beings it interacts with. The Journal
of Brand Management has a special issue coming out next year on making the
most of nations as identities/brands - if anyone wants to see the call for
papers, please ask me

chris macrae, email
Chief Brand Officer Association, Founding member


"Chris Macrae" <>

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