Article -> Getting Leaders Engaged with Branding
Date Added: August 2006
Positioning and branding can differentiate your organization from competition. Organizations with strong brands can earn up to 5% higher total ROI than their industry counterparts. For your organization to be a differentiator and a market leader, the CEO needs to be the No. 1 brand champion. If this is not occurring, your organization will suffer in multiple ways.
Your brand strategy and corporate objective should be closely aligned. Sometimes, organizations create a complex, confusing branding strategy – a little hint; simplify it to something that will fit on the back of a matchbook.¹ For example, Unique Business Solutions’ brand is exemplified by its tagline “Performance… Beyond your Expectations.” This not only holds employees accountable for a level of performance and expectation, it provides customers something they can hold Unique Business Solutions accountable for.
This closely aligns with our core objective: helping our people and our clients continuously improve by becoming more productive and successful. We do this by providing Performance… Beyond our clients’ expectations.
The vision of the brand strategy should begin at the top. The CEO should have a vision for the organization, and this vision becomes a roadmap for all employees to follow. The next step is to communicate this to employees so they “live” the strategy. When employees see leaders living the brand strategy, they too will live it – becoming representatives of the brand – essentially brand evangelists. This is important because internal branding is the best recruitment and marketing tool to attract new employees. Having the “right” people employed in your organization will lead to success.
Not only do leaders need to live the brand for employees, but also for the customers. It is important to have a brand strategy that customers can relate to and remember. A good question to ask yourself is: in five words or less, what is your organizational objective?¹ This objective and a strong brand image will be evaluators and differentiators for your customers.
To ensure that your brand strategy aligns with your market position and customers, consider having an independent third-party conduct brand audits and measure your brand value to build an effective brand strategy. This group should be different than your creative agency, as your agency may not be independent if they are the group executing your brand’s creativity.
Brand strategy – getting leaders and employees aligned with customers – must be managed together to maximize profitability. After the day is done, your brand strategy should guide all organizational activities and provide customers something to hold you accountable for.
¹Lamons, Bob. “Work to get CEO on board with brand vision.” Marketing News. March 15, 2006.