Even though much has been said about the importance of brand clarity to a company’s customers and prospects, it goes without saying that this is vital to sustaining brand health. Often overlooked however, is the importance of brand clarification to a company’s stakeholders and employees.
While the focus of my research and branding efforts has been on my clients’ customers and prospects, I have been taken aback at times with the importance stakeholders and employees place on the process and outcome. All of my work has been done with successful companies “ready” to take their brand to the next level. Each of these companies feels that they have gone as far as they can without formally articulating what their brand stands for and exactly who they are targeting. They know that they should define their brand before someone else does, especially their competitors.
That’s where I come in.
While my process is customized to a company’s industry, brand and culture, it always starts with internal, in-person interviews. The goal is to be sure that their experience and insights are represented in the process. Unexpectedly and consistently, these stakeholders express a delight in the fact that their company is investing time to uncover and articulate their brand.
“I am so glad we are doing this now, it’s long overdue.”
“We have silos that must come together.”
“Our current target and brand position depends on who you ask.”
“This is going to be difficult; I am looking forward to the outcome.”
In an age of digital transparency and communities, all employees are brand representatives, like it or not. As such it is critical they are a “choir singing from the same hymn sheet.” While we are obsessed with giving prospects reasons to purchase our product or service, they are applying the process of elimination to determine why they should not purchase our brand. Inconsistent messaging is a prime contributor to elimination.
It is important to understand who we are as individuals and equally important to understand who we are in the organizations’ brand. With clear direction, people making up an organization can become ambassadors through all their social “touch points.” Promoting a brand in today’s world goes well beyond the duties of the Marketing Department only.
Define your brand or else be loosely, and incorrectly, defined by your competitors and employees.