Four different actions that allow your business to stand out. The following article is penned by United Creations President/Vision Keeper Eben Tobias Greene, and published in the latest issue of MARKETING.
When was the last time you were excited about a big change in your life? Maybe it was buying a car, starting a new job or running a half marathon. Whatever it was, it’s easy to talk about positive achievements with clearly defined milestones.
More challenging, however, is communicating a less tangible change, especially something that takes time to realize. This is particularly true for growing a business that must express a consistent message to its market, while introducing new products, services, people, technology… you get the picture.
Businesses are complex and often need a deeper shift at the cultural level to grow. A successful brand development is about staying in step with the times by being relevant and aligning your values with those of your customers.
There are two types of changes that play a part in re-branding: evolutionary change and transformative change.
Evolutionary change is the most common way businesses refine their brand, but when all those small changes add up—new services, people and so on—a company becomes a very different entity. If it’s not managed well, the shared experience of culture within an organization can become disjointed. This can have a big impact on how customers value their experience with your brand.
Transformative change allow us to realign a business from the ground up, incorporating all the values and attributes that make it unique, while ensuring the brand authentically connects with the market as time goes on. Leveraging the power of brand culture is about removing the boundaries between your people and those you serve.
Branding professionals have long been organizational agents of change, uniting people with inspired brand communications. However, that’s a challenge today as many industries have made radical shifts in their business models. So, how do you accomplish brand culture integration when you’re not sure who you are or where you’re going?
Embrace change with the goal of being more who you are. We accomplish this by focusing on four different actions that allow businesses to utilize their best qualities and stand out.
Differentiate. What do you stand for? Branding should communicate its values both internally and externally. We developed a powerful visual tool called a Brand Culture Compass™ to help align the purpose, values and brand pillars of any organization and to call out what separates it from the rest. Put your vision, voice and values into action. Make it easy for people to find their way.
Innovate. How are you relevant? The most common marketing focus of any company is to promote its latest and greatest offerings. But how do you position new services and products that connect with people in today’s social world? First, you must have something unique to talk about. Then, energize your voice with innovative promotions.
Integrate. Why do you matter? When all your employees are on different pages with a new brand strategy or marketing initiative, it’s hard to organize action. Face-to-face meetings, workshops, launch events and mini-brand books get people engaged. Long-term integration is about adoption and buy-in. We found success with an interactive culture portal that centralizes communications, training and resources to empower people to take a stand for their brand.
Orchestrate. When should you change? Tracking all the moving parts of a brand culture transformation and sharing that information is important. We have a number of tools and processes that streamline organizational change, such as Market Map, which visually charts the course of action.
Building a better business is all about “returning to center.” All companies have qualities that make them different from the competition. Culture building brands is a meaningful way to create a more real, value-based relationship. They may like you on Facebook, but ultimately your team and your customers want to “feel the love.”
Most clients initially want to design a new website, but many of them are looking for “brand therapy” of sorts. Not everyone is ready or needs a transformational change. Culture and branding are one. Companies that recognize this are outperforming those that aren’t confidently expressing their strengths in a consistent way.