Before the days of barbed wire in the 1800’s American cattle grazing land, cattle were free to roam and mix together. The only way they had to be able to tell whom the owners of the mixed cattle were was by looking for a distinctive brand on each animal.
Today, we use this term to describe the distinctive identity and personality of a company. When a company’s distinctive brand is discovered and its corporate “why” is unearthed, there is an opportunity to do something special.
Most companies really don’t understand the potential this and other intangible assets hold. Nor do they realize the value it can bring to the business. When CEOs learn that on average 66% of their current value come from those intangible assets, they begin to take notice. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to talk about brand potential without increasing an already ROI-challenged ad budget.
Brands are born of various means. You need to discover not just the unique distinction of the brand, but it’s soul and true value as well. When a company shares these attributes correctly with employees, strategic partners, stakeholders, customers and prospects, something powerful can happen.
The employees are already part of the brand and have played a role in establishing it from the beginning. If that group buys into the company “Why”, then trust develops. A great sense of confidence occurs between both the leadership and staff and vice-versa. Like-mindedness is the glue that bonds this community of leaders and workers together. The CEO will have faith that each person in the company is delivering their promise and as well, that the CEO is guiding the company based on the guardrails of the brand established in the identification and discovery process. Only when these two elements are in place are seeds of greatness and belief in the brand are planted.
Most CEOs want their brand to be viewed as having a purpose behind your products and services. They want their employees to embrace and share the company’s beliefs and they want their customers to have more than price to be the main reason to do business together. Back in the cowboy-culture of the American Southwest, when you were an employee of a cattle operation, you “rode for the brand”. In other words, you stood for everything that brand on the cattle stood for and it stood for everything that ranch owner stood for. Total alignment vertically and horizontally. This is what we are talking about when employees of modern-day companies ride for the brand.
Here are a couple of things you can do to improve your brand:
- Get professional help on clarifying your brand and how to integrate it into your culture.
- Have a clear picture of what and whom your brand is as well as why your brand exists.
- Find alignment between your brand and your company.
- Know what the brand promise for the customer is and require your employees to deliver it consistently and with passion.
- Inform your employees that everything about them, most importantly dress and behavior, reflects positively or negatively on the brand.
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