Does your to-do list include working on the brand? How about your team’s list? It’s almost certainly on the organisation’s list.
And if yes is the answer you’ve got brand in the wrong place. Because it is not something you do, it’s the result of it.
Marketing as driver of the brand is a common misconception. After all, they are the one who connects with customers. And customers are the whole reason we have a brand. Aren’t they?
Well, no. I don’t see it that way. Every part of the organisation plays a part in achieving the result.
Consider this scenario. Joe is renegotiating a contract with a vital supplier. He’s focused on getting them to lower their costs, even though his company says good partnering and quality services are what they stand for. Over at the supplier, they feel their service is worth what they’re asking and are unwilling to cut their price, so they walk. However, and perhaps more importantly, the experience leaves them feeling the other company’s claims of caring about quality and good partnering are rubbish.
That’s how a brand result erodes.
Now apply a similar situation up, down and across the whole organisation. Multiply it by hundreds of everyday actions and decisions, and you start to see why I think the way people apply what they call brand (or branding) is a colossal waste of time and money.
Any way you look at it, you’re out-gunned. The weight of actions and decisions everyone else wields will always overwhelm whatever campaign you try.
Here’s my suggestion. By all means keep marketing yourself – if I don’t know about you it doesn’t do me any good. But at the same time push brand off the list and get everyone focused on aligning their doing to the purpose and values – the identity. Spend the time on what you intend so you can make promises you can keep. Make sure they get delivered in the experience people have. Repeat.
That’s how a brand result becomes a continuing accomplishment. It’s a never done kind of thing, so putting the brand on your to-do list won’t achieve one that sticks.