Based on our decades of work on the world’s most valuable brands, we know that strong brands deliver superior business returns. We have also learned that the strongest brands are built from the inside out and share common attributes and behaviors such as:
· Very high internal clarity on what the brand stands for
· Strong commitment of the organization to the role of the brand as business builder
· The ability of the brand to be responsive to opportunities and changes in the marketplace
These qualities comprise the internal strength of a brand, which needs to be leveraged effectively to deliver engaging and satisfying customer experiences.
In a changing world, internal strength keeps your brand centered
Your personal trainer will tell you that training your core is crucial for your fitness and strength, and the same goes for your brand. With today’s rapid growth in the ways and means of connecting with both business customers and consumers, a brand’s entire portfolio of products and services must be clearly and consistently delivered to a broad marketplace. This requires the mobilization of the entire organization in building the brand. Given how quickly the marketplace is changing—and how quickly organizations have to adapt to these changes—one could argue that the internal strength of a brand is now more important than ever.
A holistic approach is more important than ever
While today’s brand leader will retain the ultimate responsibility for articulating what the brand needs to be—and he or she needs to lead the charge in inspiring the organization to deliver it—the actual delivery of the brand promise has become the responsibility of all client-facing functions. For this reason, marketing can no longer be left to the marketers alone. Strong engagement with the brand’s purpose and mission—and an empowered team that has the required skills and competencies to deliver on the brands’ promise—are required at all levels of an organization and are crucial to building and sustaining a satisfying and coherent brand experience for customers.
Your brand is one of your most important business assets—which is why all relevant members within an organization must be clear on your brand’s vision and be empowered to do what needs to get done. (They must also, of course, possess the required skills and competencies so they can deliver.)
To commit to this holistic and integrated approach is to have a staff that works together to ensure that products, services, and messages work towards a coherent brand experience. Such an approach will put your organization on the right track to building a stronger brand—a brand that will not just survive the changing terrain ahead, but one that will thrive in spite of it.
This is the first in a series of articles by Stephan Gans, all of which will focus on unleashing your brand’s potential.