There are plenty of things your organisation does that builds your brand. There is also a pretty long list of things only you care about and which do virtually nothing to build your brand.
High on that list (if not at the top) is what I have come to think of as the role of “logo police” (most often called brand managers). You know the job – tasked with making sure that no logo is in the wrong place, no errant font lands, the right shade of blue is always used – not sure I can think of a more thankless task.
Because while the consistent presentation of your image and how the logo should and shouldn’t be used has its place, when it comes to building the brand in any tangible or meaningful way it should be somewhere in the lower part of the list of things you worry about.
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Here are five things that should come before it (and must if you really want a brand that people care about):
1. Your products and services do what they promise – design, delivery and results.
2. The way you do things aligns with what you say you stand for.
3. You hire people who fit with your culture and care about what you care about – remember people can learn to do new things but can hardly ever change who they are.
4. You set expectations and meet them (whatever they may be).
5. You make sure that the experience you deliver aligns with what you care about – because that’s where the reality of your brand lives.
I get it, the stuff on the list above is hard. It’s work to get it right and it’s discipline to keep getting it right. And that’s the cold, hard truth about building a brand. There isn’t a force of “logo police” on earth who can substitute for getting one of those five things even a bit wrong.
So here’s an idea. How about expanding the powers of the “logo police”. Make sure they are up to speed on what you care about and what you say you stand for and set them loose spotting the gaps and shining a light on the great stuff across the organisation.
Spotting where the products and services are letting the side down. Where people are living the values. Where expectations are on point and being met every time (or not). Where the customer experience is something worth talking about (for the right reasons) – oh and ditch the manager title and call them brand builders. Now that’s a job worth doing!
See you next week with “The customer experience starts here”.
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.