November 6, 2015

Incorporate this Japanese word into your corporate brand implementation

Blog 82 Genba2

The Japanese word Genba is critical to corporate brand implementation success because Genba means “real place” or “place where the actual work is done.” During a corporate brand implementation, going to Genba takes us to places such as office buildings, industrial sites, business service branches, retail locations, fleet vehicle parking areas, and remote employee locations. Visiting the actual locations where the corporate brand implementation will occur prior to the start of the conversion process allows us to move from guesswork to reality, thereby lowering costs and speeding up the process.

The importance of Genba during corporate brand implementation planning cannot be stressed enough. By visiting and assessing locations, supply chain partners, channel partners, and key stakeholders, brand implementation teams can uncover critical information, eliminate constraints, and mitigate risks.

Regardless of where the corporate brand implementation takes place, fact-finding trips to company locations lead to more cooperation from staff and other stakeholders. When a team goes to Genba, day-to-day operations are discussed to minimize interruptions to customers and employees. Stakeholders often identify other issues related to the project, like fleet vehicles offsite for repairs or inaccessibility to interior signs after hours.

Going to Genba also helps identify all brand touchpoints that need to be converted during a corporate brand implementation. We’ve learned the hard way that company databases are often incomplete or inaccurate. For example, a company database may list 50 service vehicles at one location, without including any specifics. When we arrive at the location, we may find a mix of 62 trucks and vans with a variety of makes, models, and body colors, along with 5 company cars used by executives and/or sales teams.

Going to Genba includes reviewing brand touchpoints owned or operated by strategic partners, including sales channels (contractors, dealers, and retailers) and franchisees. I can’t tell you how often corporate brand implementation teams overlook these touchpoints, having to rebrand additional touchpoints as they are uncovered at a higher cost.

Genba also identifies corporate brand implementation issues related to local regulatory mandates. For instance, clients have shared horror stories about projects where regulators stopped work due to improper waste disposal or safety violations. With Genba, these issues would have been mitigated up front.

Genba can even be used to qualify the supply chain, including legacy vendors, for a corporate brand implementation. Suppliers can be challenged to engineer exterior signage, vehicle graphics, interior signage, and branded materials to hit visibility goals, lifetime performance goals, installation performance, and brand consistency.

So go to Genba the next time a corporate brand implementation is anticipated. Or, better yet, stay focused on your other responsibilities and have us go to Genba for you. We’re just a phone call away at 1.888.831.2536.