A brand is not what you say you are.
It’s actually who you are.
Where things have gone wrong
This is where things have gone wrong with branding in the past. Agencies come up with cool and trendy stories about organizations without giving a thought to whether that image accurately reflects who they are. When who you are on the inside doesn’t match how you present yourself to the outside world you can’t live up to what you’re saying about yourself. When you do have that inside/outside match it establishes trust between you and your audiences and that breeds success. It’s what Studio Pinpoint calls Brand Integrity.
Do you hate going to work in your own company? Tony did.
The reason we look at culture is because that is a clue to uncovering your values. Cultures are the sum total of the values and character of the people in an organization. Let me give you an example. I had the pleasure of speaking with Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com a couple of years ago after he made a presentation at a business conference I was attending. In his presentation he talked about the first firm he founded, a tech firm which he later sold for a couple hundred million dollars to Microsoft. Tony said people often see this as a success but to him it was like a failure. He built this firm with the help of friends and friends of friends and after a while they grew so big that the culture of the organization changed and he hated coming to work in his own company. He learned a big lesson here.
Define who you are
Defining who you are is a key to building a successful, profitable and well aligned organization – and one that you’ll be happy to go to work in. Read about Tony’s amazing work at Zappos.com in his blog post on brand and culture.
What to do?
Begin from the inside. What is the culture of your company that makes people a good or bad fit? Note those qualities and build on those. When designing your advertising, writing web copy, writing a press release reflect this quality in your outside persona.
“Be yourself, everyone else is taken.” – Oscar Wilde.
If you know anyone that’s not enjoying going to work in their own firm send them the link to this posting and have them click on the this link: We’ll offer them a brand discovery session at no cost or obligation.
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Brand Guide for BusinessThe Brand Guide for Business, originally published in 2010, is a do-it-yourself brand guide for entrepreneurs and start-ups. Define your unique selling proposition beyond quality, innovation, and service – there is something unique about you that is truly different, find it with this guide. Visit the brand marketing plan website for more.
BooksRomana is a contributing author in Wiley's Interior Design in Practice Read a few pages from Romana's chapter here.