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Introducing the four quadrants model

Introducing the four quadrants model
We spend, at Wolff Olins, a lot of time talking to clients about how to use their brand idea, the thing they want to stand for, to influence or drive all of the things that they do. And to help do that thinking, we often use a very simple diagram that we call the quadrant diagram, and the idea behind the quadrant diagram is very simple. It’s to take the whole of an organisational, all of its assets, if you like, and divide them into those that exist outside the organisation and those that exist inside. And then on the other axis, those that are relatively hard, tangible, measurable, and those that are soft, much less tangible, much less measurable.
And the outside soft asset of an organisation, we usually call it’s presence. That’s its place in the world, its image, if you like, how it’s seen in the world. It’s soft internal asset, we call culture. That’s an organization’s way of being, how people behave in the organisation, how leaders lead, what it feels like. Moving on to the hard side, the hard internal aspect of an organisation, we usually call capability. That’s its skills, its methods, its processes, its technologies, its partnerships, all the stuff that enables it to do what it does.
And then the final quadrant, the hard external aspect of an organisation, is its offer, the products and the services and the customer experience that it offers out in the world. Now, our belief is that the brand idea, the thing that the organisation wants to stand for, should be at the centre of that diagram and drive how it builds its presence, how it manages its culture, how it increases its capability, and how it develops its offer. And when that happens, you have a truly brand led organisation.

In this video, Robert Jones explains a model used for many years in Wolff Olins, to show how the idea you want to stand for should drive every aspect of your organisation.

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