One of the unknown secrets that a Brand Champion understands and does masterfully is make their brand come alive holistically throughout the entire organization. Unlike the common belief that brands are primarily visual, they come alive through a holistic approach via branding, marketing, sales, operations, customer services efforts, and interaction with a prospect/customer throughout the entire organization.
Here are 5 items to make your brand come alive:
1. It starts with a well defined brand value proposition that not only separates you from the competition, but puts into a clear and concise fashion exactly why you are better and what you can expect if and when you choose to do business with our company. Once you have this, it isn’t good enough to just say it, but you actually have to do it. Your company and its brand have to live up to the stated brand promise.
I get asked all the time; what if we aren’t there yet? What if our experience isn’t just right yet or we don’t have the team in place to make this all happen? These are great questions, and this is exactly what branding is about. Branding and positioning is about setting up your company to achieve its goals and objectives. Sometimes a company isn’t quite there yet, so you have to do a little aspirational branding that pushes you, your employees and the company to get there and deliver on the Brand Value Promise.
2. You also have to have a roadmap/operational plan of how you are going to make this all come alive and be real. This is where the holistic part comes into place; everyone within the entire organization has to be on the same page and live up to the promise to ensure the Brand Value Promise comes alive. That’s what makes it real and true.
3. It has to happen in all areas of the business: the sales process, the delivery of the product or service, the customer service interaction, as well as the people handling the transaction/billing. Your brand has to be delivered upon during the entire customer interaction in order for the brand experience to be a good one.
4. In order to make sure you are living up to your stated promise, you should measure or ask your customers if their brand experiences are good ones. These days it’s pretty easy to utilize a tool like Survey Monkey, or similar tool, and send out a quick and simple customer survey to make sure you are delivering upon your brand promise. It is so important to know how you are doing, good or bad, and if you aren’t doing what you have to in order to make that brand experience a good one. Fixing things may not be that easy, but may be necessary.
Why do you think the show Undercover Boss is so popular? Because you have executives that want to know what’s going on within their organizations and sometimes they go to extreme measures to see for themselves if their employees and company are living up to their stated brand promise. For the most part, most of the employees are doing what they are supposed to do, but it’s amazing to see just how many companies’ employees don’t know how to make those brand promises come alive. In many episodes, I notice an employee who has strayed from the brand path that needs to be reined in, or in some cases, needs to be released from the team because they did not ride for the brand.
5. Reward your team for delivering and making sure brand experiences come alive and are real. The clients I work with who utilize a reward system are the ones who see great things happen, even if they are small rewards. A reward, no matter how big or small, reminds them that they are a vital part of making the whole brand experience come alive.
Brand Champions know that brands come alive holistically within their organization and it’s their job to make great brand experiences become a reality. Start taking your brand to the next level today by not only having a Brand Value Promise, but also making sure that that promise is fulfilled and prospects and customers alike have a great experience with your company and its brand.