An organisation’s brand is a result. But what are the elements that contribute to the achievement and how do they relate to each other?
This is the question I explore every week in my writing and every day in my thinking.
In the formula I developed to answer those questions, purpose and values sit within the first element of identity. They are the foundation. However it takes the other two elements of promises made and kept, and experience delivered (all stakeholders) to put them in motion, with brand as a result.
In my experience, many promises are remarkably cavalier. There is an insidious ‘we can always apologise if we don’t keep it’ mentality and the resulting increase of over-promising abdicates responsibility and flirts with making promises without intending to keep them. Once the promise is made, it sets up a future that is made current via experience, which is where the promise is kept or broken.
Whether it is employees, customers or other stakeholders like investors, suppliers or partners, the experience is delivered by hundreds of things coming together at the point where someone interacts with the organisation.
Delivered by employees who know how what they’re doing matters, finance practices that support the purpose, technology that enables, well-designed products and services customers need and want, consistent and dependable delivery, sales and marketing devoid of hype. And on and on.
When you take what you care about and use it to help shape the promises you make, you’re more likely to keep them. When you use your purpose and values in all your actions and decisions, they’re more likely to be reflected in them, keep the promises you made and become reasons to believe.
What would change if you approached your brand as a result using the formula? How would you think differently about the way you use your identity, make promises and deliver experience? It isn’t a silver bullet. You’ve got to do the work. But when done every day, across the big things and unheroic day-to-day things by everyone in the organisation a robust, resilient brand is a result.