How a brand promise drives change in a multinational organisation
A Philips case study

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Page 3: Creating consistency and direction

In order to move forward it was vital to identify the key issues. The problem facing the company was lack of constancy and direction. Resources were being spread too thinly across too many products, with developments in too many countries. Decision making within the wider Philips organisation had become patchy. This was plain to see - there were too many products, too many markets and a lack of consistency in advertising. For the consumer it was hard to tell what was and what was not a Philips product.

Meeting customer needsThe first challenge was to change the Philips image. This was built around 'sense and simplicity'. The message that Philips is getting across now is that everything it does is focused on meeting customer needs.

All that Philips does today is based on this concept. The message is spread through the organisation, making sure that all business processes are founded on 'sense and simplicity'. Everyone who comes into contact with Philips, whether they be employees, customers, shareholders, suppliers or other stakeholders, should see this brand promise. For example, it is shown in the company logo, and all the company operations from top to bottom.

'sense and simplicity' is shown in all the new products that Philips develops, as well as in existing ones. When the company designs a new electric kettle, its concern is to provide a state-of-the-art, easy-to-use product. The same principle applies to medical equipment, flat screen TVs, food mixers, male and female razors and so on.

New Philips' products are:

  • advanced - based on market leading technologies
  • designed around you - based on the findings of careful customer research
  • easy to experience - easy to use.

Philips is also looking at all of its existing products to make sure they fit the needs of 'sense and simplicity'.

The third key element of 'sense and simplicity' is communications. All Philips' exchanges should be easy to understand. The message given is directed at the target audience and is simple to follow.

SAB - an outside-in approachOne of the key simplicity milestones has been the launch of the Simplicity Advisory Board (SAB). This is a think tank of independent experts from the fields of information technology, healthcare, fashion, design and architecture. It has been able to give an outside-in view of what simplicity means and how this can be valid across the organisation. The members of the board were chosen for their wideranging knowledge and expertise.

Philips | How a brand promise drives change in a multinational organisation