When I speak at conferences, the topic of brand comes up often and that makes me very happy. Your brand is so much more than the logo you had crafted for your company. Brand is not the Pantone color you’ve chosen or even the tagline you creatively came up with to describe who you are or what you’re about. There are so many complicated write-ups out there. Today, I’m simplifying it for you.
Your brand is your promise.
Are you a little disappointed to hear this? It’s really THAT simple, though. Do you do what you say you’ll do? Think about that a lot. Is everything about your brand committed to the promise you make to clients, customers, etc.? Are you doing a good job at making sure your employees know what you’re promising? Would your clients say your brand means what you think it means?
When branding is fractured
Fracturing a brand is not difficult to do and I can give you a really good example: McDonald’s. When I ask clients what they like about McDonald’s, I commonly hear their breakfast items, sweet tea, and coffee. I personally like their coffee. When I ask them to tell me what they don’t like, immediately I hear, “Their lines are so slow!” or “The drive-through sucks.” or “How hard is it get an order right?”
Yeesh! Talk about a brand promise gone wrong. Their Values in Action statement on their website clearly states they are about doing the right thing. The commercials show shiny happy people getting their meals correct and fast. This is a branding which is fractured.
How do you avoid this?
On an annual basis, revisit your company promise. Include your staff when you do this, too. Make sure everyone knows what you’re about as a team, set say/do expectations with everyone, request feedback from your team. This alone is going to help your brand stay strong!
Be a person of action – be intentional and set an annual branding meeting now on your calendar. Make sure you understand the importance of your promise and that every team member is a living, breathing brand advocate at the office.