Identity is essential to your brand

Over the break, I plunged into Walter Isaacson’s expansive and illuminating look at Leonardo da Vinci’s life and work. While many gems are sure to find their way into my thinking over the coming months, the following passage felt like an excellent place to start 2018.

Isaacson writes:

What prevents perpetual motion, Leonardo realised, is the inevitable loss of momentum in a system when it rubs against reality. Friction causes energy to be lost and prevents motion from being perpetual…”

Organisations often fall foul of the friction of reality. Energy dissipates, and over time the brand result slows, mired in everyday tasks.

Too often, the response to the loss of momentum leads to a wholesale rethink of ‘the brand’ when a bit of lubrication will get things moving again. The brand equivalent of lubrication is having a robust foundation of identity.

To learn how to find your foundation of identity, click here.

At the start of a new year, we often stop and evaluate how things are going; and a check in with the organisation’s identity – your purpose and values, and how they’re being used — is a worthwhile endeavour.

Since we’re talking lubrication, think of it like an oil change, not a new engine. Without careful attention to how brand identity shows in the little details of day-to-day activity, it’s easy to oversee that things aren’t moving as freely as they once were.

Perhaps the camaraderie and drive people had when working together has dissipated. Operations may be running a bit rough. New ideas aren’t keeping up with change. The flow of new and returning business could be sputtering. You get the idea.

Your organisation’s brand identity keeps you moving. It guides the promises you make and keep and shapes the employee and customer experience you deliver. It’s not the only thing preventing momentum from slowing, but without it, the organisation and resulting brand will eventually grind to a halt.

So where are the points of friction in your organisation? When you find them, apply your identity to get things moving again and a more robust, resilient brand will be the result.

See you next week.

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