January 24, 2012 1 Comment
FC Bruges’ Coach Swap Story demonstrates how Strategy and Leadership drastically impact Branding.
There are many ways to develop a strategy to obtain goals. Within this process, the vision of the leader is rather critical. After all, his or her vision guides the decision for a specific strategy.
I believe this choice instantly impacts the “style”, “soul”, “positioning” or “brand”.
Let’s try to make this more clear by visualizing the case of football.
FC Bruges Coach Swap Story
Looking at the above scheme, something is remarkably striking in the FC Bruges Story. Let me just do the telling, meanwhile you do the scheme-mapping exercise, ok?As from 2009, the Dutchman Adrie Koster, coached the team. As a leader he defined the strategy to obtain goals from an “always win perspective”. As a result FC Bruges played attacking, creative football and scored a lot. Neutral spectators loved the team. It had style, soul. It was a good brand. But the team didn’t always win. And after four successive defeats, the club fired the coach. He did not reach the objectives. The “always win strategy” was left. It didn’t work. A new strategy and leader was sought for.
At the end of 2011 FC Bruges appointed a new leader: Cristoph Daum. A German coach with a solid track-record. His goals were the same as those from Koster. But in order to fulfill them, the leader envisioned another approach to realize the objectives. He took the “win more than others do perspective”. Consequently, the same group of people were no longer recognizable. The team played uninspired and relied on proven tactics like dropping high balls in the penalty zone, free kicks and corners. It resulted in a lot of “1-0 wins” for the team however. And in fact, 1-0 quickly got labeled a “Daum Score”. But the longer this leader is in charge and brings the strategy to live through not really sexy tactics, the less the team is liked be outsiders and fans because of its style. The brand isn’t perceived as something “good” anymore. The soul is gone. This story from the world of sports clearly shows that strategy and leadership influence branding.
What if Daum really got fired?
Well, let’s answer the question by applying the theoretical scheme applied above.
Can businesses learn something from this story on Strategy, Leadership and Branding?
Or is sports just sports?