Instead of trying to buy brand, look inside the business and use what is really going on, what actions are really being carried out to shine a light on what I like to call “what is”.
It can often seem like I’m anti the things that many people attach to brand, and while I do get a bit irked about the attention and capital often wasted on those things, mostly I’d just like to see a bit more time spent on the work horses of brand building that too often go ignored.
I know I preach this like a gospel, but it bears repeating. When you bring awareness to the operational things – well-designed products and services, consistent delivery, sales and marketing devoid of hyperbole, good customer service and follow up – a strong, resilient brand is the result.
Here’s another way to think about it. Practice a bit of yoga for your brand. Just as in asana (poses), where the poses create awareness and alignment between what is going on in all the layers of the body (physical, mental, spiritual), the same awareness in business creates alignment between the actions, decisions and results.
To quote BKS Iyengar, one of the fathers of modern yoga:
“We must create a marriage between awareness of the body and that of the mind. When the two parties do not cooperate, there is unhappiness on both sides. This leads to fragmentation…”
Sounds like a fairly accurate description of many businesses I see when the well-crafted veneer quickly falls apart under scrutiny of contact with the customer.
And like yoga, the results are only delivered through ongoing practice. One of my yoga teachers used to say, “Better to do a little yoga a lot than a lot of yoga a little.” Too often brand awareness is framed as an event, as in a big push. Much better to develop an ongoing practice of brand building that takes place across the business.
Building brand is much more than a name, logo and series of ads to tell customers about who you are. It should be total alignment of the business today. Make it part of your culture and build a daily practice of looking at whether “the two parties are cooperating” at the detail level.
Get that right, spend money on that and you will have a brand that delivers truly long-term results for all your stakeholders.
See you next week.
Don’t miss the opportunity to get your brand questions answered by posting them on twitter @michelhogan or emailing me at [email protected].
Michel is an independent brand analyst dedicated to helping organisations make promises they can keep and keep the promises they make – with a strong, resilient organisation as the result. She also publishes a blog at michelhogan.com. You can follow Michel on Twitter @michelhogan