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Branding Breaks Through Middle Management Bottleneck – @ Issue

Posted on | July 13, 2009 | No Comments

By Larry Oakner
Can branding break through the middle management bottleneck?

Middle managers are like waiters shuttling between the kitchen and dining room as the intermediary delivering the restaurant’s “brand.” In a corporation, middle managers deliver the company’s brand while managing a workforce charged with its tactical execution.

Unfortunately, the career timetable of middle management is often the opposite required of a corporate branding program. The full equity of a new brand may take years to realize while a middle manager’s success is measured in quarters. Middle managers are like the infantry who hit the problem, rack up the numbers, gain the glory, and move on. No wonder so many are reluctant to invest in building a brand when they just want to build their resume.

Far from being an obstacle to quarterly success, a well-conceived and executed brand platform can be the single-most powerful tool that middle managers have to launch new products, communicate with employees, build brand architecture, or implement a new identity.

A brand can be a long-term solution to a short-term challenge. Showing middle managers that branding programs are a worthwhile investment, rather than an expense, is the first step in clearing the bottleneck.

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Larry Oakner is Brand Director @ CoreBrand

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