A brand with focus, embeddedness and adaptability, will win

These are the principles that define the Great Repeatable Models in business according to Chris Zook, partner at Bain and Co. (Thanks Chris!)

Digging a little deeper and looking through the window of brand strategy, I decided to ponder Zook’s principles of greatness and consider the implications for brand planning and design.

So here they are, a little dose of brain food for you.


The guiding principles of a brand, provides a spear head of focus for the business, a focus on how value can be created in a customer’s life. It builds alignment of effort and co ordinates the resources of the business into a single direction. By using narratives in the voice of the customer to explain how brand value is created at each customer touch point, a business can pull this focus throughout the business.


Embeddness means taking the vision of the brand and making it a way of doing business that cascades down from leaders to the frontline. When a brand is embedded, the  business has learnt to walk the talk of the brand promise. Using an internal employee brand, a business can ensure every individual can see the role they need to play to deliver on the brand promise. At Hearts and Minds, we like to tell our clients “when their employees can run their role in the brand promise like a movie in their head, they have clarity”.


When you open the bonnet on this, it is about taking the insights from customers and turning these into competencies. Zook claims this comes from a “strong self awareness and the ability to question core assumptions”.  An adaptable business is willing to let go of the comfort of the status quo and create a new model. In a sense, adaptability comes from a constant state of openness, rigorous honesty and a whole hearted willingness to do things differently.

Louise Kelly

Managing Director

Hearts and Minds


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s