It’s a company’s brand that uniquely identifies them within their particular industry. Occasionally however a company comes along every so often with a brand that is so strong, it not only identifies itself within the industry but, it literally defines the industry. In Atlanta, where I live, when you order a soft drink at a restaurant, you can order anything you want as long as you order a Coke. It doesn’t matter if you’re ordering a Sprite, Fanta, or Dr. Pepper. It’s all called “Coke” down here in the South, they’ll clarify what kind of Coke you want after you order. This shows up with other products as well. I mean how often do you hear adhesive notes referred to as “Post-its?” And when someone needs a tissue they’re usually asking you for a “Kleenex.”
The sobering reality is that like it or not your company already has a brand, your church already has a brand, and…you…you already have a brand.
Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with a couple of incredibly talented (not to mention ridiculously successful) gentlemen who live in the “Branding World” twenty four seven. Below are a couple of key takeaways from our conversation:
#1 Your Brand is a Promise
It’s what you want your reputation to be and the promise you’re going to make good on. Nike promises to help you discover the athlete within and Chic-fil-A promises you an exceptional dining experience. You can have incredible marketing and an incredible wrapper, but if you’re not delivering on your promise to provide a great product, you’re going to erode your brand.
#2 Great Brands are built around Stories
Stories are what people tell to other people, and those stories either reinforce or undermine your brand. Part of your job is to be both intentional and compelling with the stories you tell. It’s those stories that create an experience for people before they ever have an experience with you.
#3 Branding is about Differentiation
Your brand is as much about what you’re not going to deliver as it is about what you are going to deliver. It helps you say no to the wrong things and yes to the right things. The reality is you cannot be all things to all people, but you can be uniquely you.
#4 Somebody in the Company has to own your Brand
Because all companies and organization drift towards complexity and everyone has a good idea that they want to act upon, somebody must have the authority to manage the brand. Somebody has to own the brand and sub-brands of the company and keep the identity in tact.
What are the most effective steps that you’ve seen taken to build the brand of a Company, Church, or Person?
Posted in Creative Arts, Leadership