Don’t Buck the Brand

A few months ago, CPO Agenda published an article entitled Backing the Brand that stated aligning procurement and supply strategy with brand building and marketing is vital for long term success. A couple of weeks ago, the Frasers/PMAC Newsletter published the article Wising up to Marketing Costs that stated that marketing seems to be one of the final frontiers in strategic sourcing and that some companies are using sound strategies to save millions of dollars on marketing, without missing deadlines or diluting the creative intent. In other words, not only can the logic work with the magic, as outlined in my Magic & Logic Posts (Part I and Part II), but that Procurement can Back the Brand profitably.

Backing the Brand states that a successful brand can

  • differentiate a product or service
  • enhance a product’s competitiveness
  • influence the price-elasticity of demand
  • ease the introduction of new products and services
  • create customer recognition and loyalty
  • enhance leverage over upstream and downstream supply chain partners
  • create long term shareholder value

In addition, it states that even though procurement and supply chain may not always dictate a successful advantage on their own, it is clear that differentiation and customer retention might be impaired if they are not aligned with marketing and brand strategies and that only those organizations that can institutionalize continuous cross-functional implementation of a linked brand and sourcing strategy are likely to be successful in the future.

The article then goes on to offer five steps to successful alignment, as well as three case studies of organizations that have succeeded in successfully linking procurement and marketing and three organizations that have failed, but like other articles extolling the virtues of a procurement and marketing partnership, it skips over the simple first steps to success.

That’s where the article Wising up to Marketing Costs comes into play. It describes how your procurement department can make use of a category specialist model for buying and outsource acquisition of marketing categories such as print management that not only costs large organizations millions of dollars annually, but often costs those same organizations in excess of a million dollars of unnecessary spend. It also describes how the deployment of eProcurement solutions can save you money while giving Marketing the speed and flexibility they require. 

So Back the Brand – and be the only department in your organization to have a double impact on the balance sheet. Make Charles proud.