CVS Health Uncovering Efficiencies in Brand Operations

CVS Health

The Situation

CVS Health consists of many subbrands, and each had their own brand standards and processes. In order to centralize brand strategy, decisions, and implementation, and present a consistent brand experience, a new, all-encompassing brand team was created. To realize their goal of becoming a best-in-class in-house brand agency, the CVS Health Brand Team engaged BrandActive to find opportunities to improve process efficiency within their team and understand how they could better serve their business partners. We call this maximizing your marketing and brand operations (MBO.)

The Challenge

While the growing branding team was experienced, capable, and had a vision, they were stretched for resources. They hadn’t had time to set up standard processes for the variety of projects they would be doing and the precise responsibilities within those processes. And the internal clients they served did not fully understand the breath of capabilities of this new brand team. This all led to a reactive culture, where team members were mostly responding to requests, rather than thinking more strategically and putting long-term practices in place.

BrandActive conducted a thorough gap analysis, looking across all components of their brand operations infrastructure, and interviewing 29 stakeholders across the brand team and their internal clients. Our gap analysis identified 12 primary gaps and opportunities for improvement in their operations model. The CVS team picked five to prioritize:

  1. Refine the vision, value and capabilities of the brand team to use to educate internal partners and to use as a filter for prioritization of projects
  2. Create Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) for business partners to establish expectations and service model
  3. Define and document the project initiation process (including roles, prioritization, template enhancement and technology used)
  4. Define and document the project management process (roles, template development, handoff points, review/approvals and technology used)
  5. More narrowly define what the brand inbox should be used for; then find a long-term solution to automate the management of the inbox for better metrics, tracking and freeing up resource time

The Solution

The gap analysis identified opportunities for resource and time efficiency, as well as greater impact and service to internal partners. For each of the five prioritized gaps, BrandActive built high-level implementation recommendations based on our tried-and-true frameworks and the best practices of highly functioning brand teams.

Refining the vision, value and capabilities of the brand team

To help CVS refine the vision, value and capabilities of their brand team, we provided a customized step-by-step guide on how to define a clear strategic purview, a compelling value proposition, an agile and scalable operating model, and performance metrics that allow the organization to continuously improve.

Providing SOPs to guide how the brand team services the organization

To promote clarity about how the brand team services the organization, we provided the tools they will need to create standard operating procedures (SOPs) for business partners to establish expectations and the service model. The goal is to provide consistency and transparency about what the branding team does, how they do it, and what to expect from the outcome. These tools included sample SOPs with clear instructions on how to best apply them to their specific circumstances.

Better defining and documenting the project initiation and management process

To assist CVS in setting up accountabilities, creating efficiencies, and reducing reactivity, we created a detailed framework for defining and documenting project workflow. The framework detailed each of the four phases of project management (initiation, planning, executing, closing) and explained how to best divide the work among team members to ensure accountability. We also included a variety of tools and diagrams to enhance the process.

Recommending automation and workflows for the brand inbox

The CVS brand team had been using one email address for incoming branding requests. Managing the requests manually made it difficult to track, organize, or gather metrics on the various tasks. For the short term, we recommended and provided a guide to narrowly define what types of requests should be submitted and which should be redirected to other solutions. For the long term, we recommended automating the system with customized workflows for each request type. Automation would allow for easier project management, better metrics to track success and opportunities, as well as free up valuable resource time.

The Results

The CVS Health brand team now has a customized, comprehensive playbook of actionable recommendations and best practices—everything they need to implement the opportunities we discovered and fill in their operations gaps. The team was energized by having these new tools to define, document, and communicate their processes and further refine and articulate their team vision and value. These supply the foundation to gain efficiency, work more collaboratively, and feel confident about their ability to provide true value to their organization.