4.2 Research Question 1 (RQ1): What is the role of brand management within
4.2.4 Consistency of a media brand
132 about the nuanced nature of media branding (Siegert 2008; Lishka et al. 2018). Co- branding as a brand building device for media brands is an area of limited
investigation (Chan-Olmsted and Shay 2015) yet offers great opportunity for differentiation (Baumann 2015) so insight from this data adds further richness to understanding the use of co-branding in media brand management.
Aris and Burghin (2009) made the point that the development of a brand would have to become a key skill for media organisations; this data indicates that this has been borne out and that brand management is now a capability (Oliver 2014) very much in place within the majority of UK media organisations.
133 MD, Generation Media
“so in terms of brand marketing there’s a CMO and then a brand person looks at brand guardianship (protect) and the master brand”
Marketing Director, Sky
“So Mindshare are very hot on their processes to ensure (consistency) their branded up”
Senior Account Manager, Mindshare
It also came through from the data that although structures and processes were in place to try to ensure consistency, there was recognition by some that this was an on-going effort:
“we’re really doing a lot of thinking on how do we connect these things up together, how do we impose those values (consistency) from a brand
perspective. We’re talking about creating centralised (consistency) brand hubs where like all of that is documented together … in that they are pulling together all of the different components across all the different teams so the aims with these hubs is that they’ll hopefully be that one-stop (consistency) shop for everybody.”
Senior Product Manager, BBC iplayer
“So if you think about dragging the brand, the master brand into the channel, you then have to apply that in a broadcast system through the voices you use to drive continuity (consistency) the way they speak on air, the colours that are applied, how they all then wrap together..”
Marketing Director, Sky
Secondly, it was identified that this was supported by training of employees and the recognition of the important part that employees play in reinforcing media brand values:
“we do a lot of training and things like that to make sure it is consistent (consistent).”
MD, Generation Media
“the marketing team put together (structure) a series of documents about what the brand is, what the tone of voice is (agreement) and they also update those sort of viewer profiles quite regularly we can access those documents at any time for a reminder or if someone new joined my team, I’d probably spend a little bit of time showing (training) those documents to them”
Head of Production, 4Music
“So how do we protect (protect) the brand? Obviously through the obvious stuff – I think our human beings, without a doubt”
CEO, Bright Blue Day
To conclude, the data revealed that a key role of brand management is about
maintaining harmony of media brand identity, leading to consistency of media brand image.
The data identified that, in alignment with current knowledge (Veloutsou and Panigyrakis 2001; De Chernatony and Cottam 2006; Baumann 2015), a coherent and cross company approach to brand management is a requisite to ensure consistent media brand representation. This is underpinned by structures and processes which are cross functional and integrated into the organisational way of working. However the data also indicated that this was a challenge to achieve,
something which has been recognised in existing literature (Chaln-Olmsted and Shay 2005). The data does reveal detail behind that complexity for UK media organisations where the brand can have multiple touch points over the course of a day.
It is also important to recognise existing viewpoints which although acknowledge the need to protect the integrity of the media brand across multiple platforms (Doyle 2105), also understand that UK media organisations are by their very nature creative and therefore they tend to be more freer in their thinking and doing (Baumann 2015) .
135 The data gives insight to this, identifying the need for the right balance between a structured and layered approach to brand management and the creative way of working.
The data also indicated that as well as structures and processes, UK media
employees were crucial in helping to achieve media brand consistency. This supports the extensive bank of research from traditional brand literature which recognises the importance of employees in the branding process and the role they play in
consistency of the brand (Balmer and Gray 2003; Hatch and Schultz 2003; Vallaster and de Chernatony 2006). The data also revealed what UK media organisations are doing in order to facilitate this consistency of employees’ branding-related behaviour and the training aspects supports existing knowledge. Training is identified as one of the key mechanisms to support consistency of employee behaviour (Punjari and Wilson 2017). The data fits with existing knowledge about how organisations attempt to control employees’ behaviour (Gallaugher and Ransbotham 2010; Wyld 2008;
Kaplan and Haenlein 2010) yet provides insight for UK media organisations, for which there is absence of knowledge.
Again, the insight from this theme identified the structured practices underpinning brand management; an integral part of the conceptual framework underpinning this research.
4.3 Research Question 2 (RQ2): Does brand co-creation exist in UK