It never fails to amaze me how confused brand people can be.
All too often I see the results of external influences that appear to think that the brand is the be all and end all of their recommendations to a business and its strategies. In adopting this stance not only can they alienate the majority of the organisation, whose primary function is not seen as directly related to brand, but also can prevent the brand as being seen as something that everyone has a stake and they all influence the delivery of an aligned brand experience.
In being so narrow focused the “brand luvvies”, as many clients rather dismissively call them (I know I did when I was a client!) can really miss the point. Failing to recognise a couple of vital drivers to supporting our clients in the aligning their brands means that we let them down and waste a lot of their money.
Firstly, and it may seem like a no brainer to many of us, we create and grow brands in order to meet the ambition of the client’s business and its strategy not just the brand in itself. Building a better business is the only reason any commercial brand exists. They are no different to brilliant logistics, superb operations and diligent financial management. They must never operate in a bubble but must help drive the process of bringing the money in from the customers they excite, inspire, connect with and stimulate.
Secondly, brands are delivered in the world of our clients and not the world of brand consultants. So we must develop the brand using the language, processes and focus of the business and its people and not those of the brand ‘experts’. Introducing alien and pseudo-intellectual concepts into the practical delivery world of the front of house teams and operators just get everything off on the wrong foot. The process must inspire and stimulate the passion that is inherent in all businesses.
Develop your brands so that they speak the language of your business in order to help the teams understand how to deliver the experience is critical. That language can evolve only when, to paraphrase Jim Collins, the flywheel of change has started to move.
Aligning brand means that we must must work with the grain of the business and not against it.