Tuesday, January 28, 2014

It's Time to Embrace Your Brand

As we near the end of 2013, many companies will do what they did 12 months earlier: reflect on their brand with resolves to update it. But instead of emphasizing how others outside your organization perceive your brand, you should focus on how owners, managers and employees view the brand's relevance. They are the ones who must embody it before anyone else will.

Put it another way. Stop making resolutions about your brand as something akin to a product or service's feature set. Your brand is as complex as you and your organization. It is changing, moody, fun, sad, smart and, sometimes, silly. In other times, it's a humanizing entity that should be as genuine in its promise and values as the people who work for the company.

Embracing your brand in such a fashion is a much more comprehensive, yet vital, exercise that will yield better results for your company in terms of increased productivity and business opportunities. While the formation of a credible brand can be done in several ways, here are four key things to consider when doing so regardless of the process you undertake:

Publicly agree to your corporate values. Meaningful brands are built on certain unwavering principles by which a company operates. They transcend product or service lines, and serve as binding guidelines as to how you go about taking care of your customers and team members. Organizations most certainly change their offerings over their lifetime, but their principles shouldn't.

Equally as prevalent is the fact that many companies don't have these values written down anywhere. They are often implied or expressed through its day-to-day operations, but that's it. If you don't have these principles publicly declared, do so while also making sure that your entire team is on board with them.