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Has this brand design agency just revolutionised brand management?


Has this brand design agency just revolutionised brand management?


A brand design agency just developed a playbook it says will revolutionise brand management.

‘The Brand Community Model’ developed by Landor aims to overthrow the “old command-and-control way of managing global brands.”

The global branding and design firm’s playbook encourages multiple communities, employees, partners, third-party influencers and fans to become involved in a brand’s management.

After interviewing more than 20 Fortune 500 companies, it identified best practices and developed a better understand the challenges facing brand governance today. It then assembled a panel of senior executives from six of the world’s top brands to co-create this resilient and flexible way to govern brands.

Two key practices are debunked: treating all audiences the same, and considering all brand expressions equally.

Those shaping a brand are encouraged to conider three levels:

  1. The sacred: elements that fundamentally define the brand and cannot be changed,
  2. the interpretative: aspects that can be adapted based on context, market or geography, and
  3. the exploratory: characteristics that can be freely adapted to allow more creativity.


“The old model of brand management is basedon the brand police enforcing compliance,” says Dominic Walsh, managing director at Landor Australia.

“This simply does not work in this day and age. ‘The Brand Community Model’ is a bespoke tool that allows brands to be managed in an agile way. It is about flexibility, adaptability and open dialogue with complex stakeholders. Australian brands need to take the handcuffs off to stay relevant on a global scale,” he says.

Three key principles have been developed to help put the model into action:

  1. Democratise and empower: everyone, including employees and external partners should play a role in bringing the brand to life,
  2. segment and prioritise: understand that not all audiences or touchpoints are created equal, and
  3. be flexible and risk tolerant: intuition, rather than prescription is key to success.



Ben Ice

Ben Ice was MarketingMag editor from August 2017 - February 2020

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