WHAM! BAM! Happy Birthday

What the BAM are we talking about? Well, BAM is one of our favourite acronyms and stands for Brand Asset Management. It’s the proprietary model used by BBN partners across the world for developing foundational assets for brand strategies that drive business results.

To celebrate its 15th birthday in 2020, we spent time talking with Rodger Jones, BAM director and co-developer at BBN America (Bader Rutter), to share these top BAM facts:

Proven by over 100 brands

BAM engagements have been successfully conducted for over 100 brands from around the world, including Corteva Agriscience, BENEO, Brother, Case IH, Castrol, Dow, Eastman Chemical, EY, GE Healthcare, Generac, Iron Mountain, John Deere, Jotun, Kellogg’s, KPMG, Lenovo Data Centre Group, Lufthansa Cargo, MDC Power, Micro Focus, Pfizer Animal Health, ROCKWOOL, Siemens, Telekom Malaysia, VideoJet, Yell and Zoetis.

Globally skilled strategists

Since its launch in 2005, the BAM model has been deployed across the world. Today, there are over 20 BAM strategists across our BBN partners and BAM engagements span the globe in over 30 countries across six continents, including USA, Canada, Mexico, Morocco, Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, Singapore, China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia and India.

Collaborative development

The genesis of BAM was a recognition within BBN, that there were several brand strategy approaches across agencies at the time. So, the primary goal from the outset in 2004 was to combine the best of the best from the most experienced practitioners. This would allow all BBN agencies to provide the same best-in-class offering anywhere in the world. The original team was comprised of four brand strategists from France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Triggers to use BAM

There are multiple triggers that signal a need for the application of the BAM model. Such as:

  • Launching new companies, products or services
  • losing market share to a new competitive entry
  • wanting to be more consistent in messaging and visual communications
  • losing market share to generic pressure
  • building belief and enthusiasm for a brand among salesforce

Aligned to needs

The BAM model is designed to align with client needs. Start with needs, then diagnose how BAM can be applied across five modules, supported with 44 proven and effective tools. Each module serves to answer a key question. The modules and questions are:

  • Discovery: Where are we and why?
  • Future Identity and Position: Where do we want to be?
  • Portfolio Strategy: What role should each offering play?
  • Audience Needs: Who is our audience and what do they need?
  • Internal Activation: How do we align and guide?

BAM helps crystallise messaging

There’s a BAM module, Audience Needs, devoted to profiling audiences and building media-agnostic key messages. The significance of this is explained by Sadhana Subramanian, “From a content perspective, it really helps us crystallize messaging and use the right words and ideas to create a successful campaign.” Sadhana Subramanian, BBN Singapore (GetIT), Senior Editor

Embedding the model

From its 2005 launch in Germany at a BBN Academy, there has always been a focus on sharing and learning. A recent global survey conducted by BBN, of their agencies on the BAM model revealed that agency learning about BAM is achieved through multiple ways. This includes 1) instruction and application during the yearly BBN Academy, 2) a two-day intensive BAM Master Class for aspirational practitioners, 3) BBN webinars, 4) BBN intranet platform and 5) peer-to-peer sharing.

Source: Global survey of 18 BBN agencies. 54 respondents. September 2020.

A critical link in the chain

The BAM model is part of an integrated, comprehensive approach unmatched by others. The brand strategy outcomes inform and drive both marketing communications and the creative expression. When asked what is most compelling to clients, Ken Ryan noted, “Connecting BAM to the end-deliverables. BAM produces great outputs that complement business planning, but it also informs the creative approach, which dictates the tactical approach.” Ken Ryan, Sr. Account Executive at BBN America (Bader Rutter)

Many reasons to use BAM

There are multiple situations in which BBN partners have used BAM. The recent survey also revealed the following situations in the order of magnitude of responses: 1) brand identity development, 2) message development, 3) brand refresh, 4) new product launch, 5) new company launch, 6) portfolio management and 7) merger and acquisition.

Source: Global survey of 18 BBN agencies. 54 respondents. September 2020

A team effort

Strategic planning is a team sport. That’s why we orchestrate creative and dynamic workshops with cross-functional stakeholders to collect the insights needed to build the strategy. Time and time again, we see company colleagues come together in BAM workshops to develop big ideas that propel brands forward. With multiple workshops held for each brand and an average workshop size of 15 participants, thousands have been engaged with BAM over the past 15 years. Carola Hecker states: “In virtually all cases, clients give great feedback – in merger/ repositioning situations, it has even helped to shape a new team spirit within the organisation. Particularly powerful wherever we developed a strong creative concept based on the BAM results and could directly link that back. Something we have started to market more clearly: great creative ideas that were only possible because of the Brand Process” – BBN Germany (wobAG), Client Service Director.

Long-lasting benefits

Clients who invest in brand strategy with BAM realise many benefits. From the survey we conducted the BAM model denotes client benefits of 1) confidence: proven process and structure, reassurance, trust, and value for money. 2) unify internal stakeholders: commitment, alignment and reaching consensus. 3) self-awareness: better overall picture, connect brand strategy to business strategy.

Source: Global survey of 18 BBN agencies. 54 respondents. September 2020

Optimised for a web-based environment

To accommodate participants from far and wide who could not travel to attend an in-person workshop, BAM always offered an alternative, web-based tools. Then amid the development of an updated version of the model in late 2019, a decision was made to adapt all 44 tools for a web-based environment. This turned out to be a prescient decision. In today’s Covid-19 world BAM is effectively fostering collaboration and building brands with cross-functional teams across multiple web-based platforms.

Builds relationships and loyalty

Building brands is about building relationships and ideally loyalty among customers. So, managing for long-term success is key. Brian Colman says, “BAM provides a legacy and a historic record that is referred back to and provides a foundation that we can pressure test. It’s a north star.” Brian Kohlmann, Associate Director of Digital Engagement at BBN America (Bader Rutter)

 

In a world where 15 minutes of fame is recognised, 15 years of brand building is something to be celebrated. Happy 15th birthday BAM … here’s to many more!

 

About the author

For more than 30 years, Rodger Jones has contributed to building business for clients through brand management, strategic planning, creative thinking and concept development. Rodger also has worked for several U.S. agencies and in Manchester and London, UK. He is a co-developer of BBN’s proven and effective Brand Asset Management (BAM) model.

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