Skip to main content

New year, new opportunity to engage employees the right way?

(Cross-posted to the Forums as
Seven years ago, I joined the government just after working as a brand consultant and director of a branding think-tank. During a time when most people still thought of the brand as the logo (or "corporate identity,"), I had adopted and was practicing the European belief that my consultancy specialized in. Essentially, this is that branding is really about integrating the external **and internal** communications of an organization, both visually and in words.

Starting from there, I wrote a research paper on an issue that the sociologist Georg Simmel identified in the early 1900s (of course without calling it branding). Basically, the problem is that no sooner does an organization define its brand, then things change and the brand has to change along with it. So there is an inherent instability in the branding process that makes the organization confusing to its stakeholders if not managed properly. Later, I called my approach to this problem "total branding," started a blog, etc.

Anyway, the problem (or "challenge") is magnified today in the era of social media for a lot of reasons, but all of them boil down to the fact that the organization is subject to public discussion by anyone and everyone, all the time, and that discussion affects its reputation significantly. How do you adapt a large organization effectively in a fast-changing world? In my view and in the view of many other experts, the best way is to equip an army of knowledgeable and credible employees who are inspired and empowered to talk. (Note: this is my view, not necessarily the view of my agency.)

All of this is a prelude to a **big** announcement:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, together with the Government Printing Office, has teamed up under the auspices of the Federal Communicators Network to bring the public a series of free seminars in communication excellence this year. The first event is taking place Tuesday, January 26, from 8:30 - 11 a.m. If you are interested in branding and/or internal communication, you **will not** want to miss it.

More details to follow soon...along with a link to register.

Posted via email from Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D.

Popular posts from this blog

What is the difference between brand equity and brand parity?

Brand equity is a financial calculation. It is the difference between a commodity product or service and a branded one. For example if you sell a plain orange for $.50 but a Sunkist orange for $.75 and the Sunkist orange has brand equity you can calculate it at $.25 per orange.

Brand parity exists when two different brands have a relatively equal value. The reason we call it "parity" is that the basis of their value may be different. For example, one brand may be seen as higher in quality, while the other is perceived as fashionable.

All opinions my own. Originally posted to Quora. Public domain photo by hbieser via Pixabay.

What is the difference between "brand positioning," "brand mantra," and "brand tagline?"

Brand positioning statement: This is a 1–2 sentence description of what makes the brand different from its competitors (or different in its space), and compelling. Typically the positioning combines elements of the conceptual (e.g., “innovative design,” something that would be in your imagination) with the literal and physical (e.g., “the outside of the car is made of the thinnest, strongest metal on earth”). The audience for this statement is internal. It’s intended to get everybody on the same page before going out with any communication products.Brand mantra: This is a very short phrase that is used predominantly by people inside the organization, but also by those outside it, in order to understand the “essence” or the “soul” of the brand and to sell it to employees. An example would be Google’s “Don’t be evil.” You wouldn’t really see it in an ad, but you might see it mentioned or discussed in an article about the company intended to represent it to investors, influencers, etc.Br…

Nitro Cold Brew and the Oncoming Crash of Starbucks

A long time ago (January 7, 2008), the Wall Street Journal ran an article about McDonald's competing against Starbucks.
At the time the issue was that the former planned to pit its own deluxe coffees head to head with the latter.
At the time I wrote that while Starbucks could be confident in its brand-loyal consumers, the company, my personal favorite brand of all time,  "...needs to see this as a major warning signal. As I have said before, it is time to reinvent the brand — now.  "Starbucks should consider killing its own brand and resurrecting it as something even better — the ultimate, uncopyable 'third space' that is suited for the way we live now.  "There is no growth left for Starbucks as it stands anymore — it has saturated the market. It is time to do something daring, different, and better — astounding and delighting the millions (billions?) of dedicated Starbucks fans out there who are rooting for the brand to survive and succeed." Today as …