Many people make the mistake of thinking that branding is separate from business operations.
Here is a new slide I put together (download at SlideShare) showing how branding is key to managing day-to-day operations, no matter what environment you find yourself in.
The reason branding is so important is that it guides all of your decisions in a very focused way. Your brand is a promise, and a very specific one. You only do things in a way that honors the brand.
Today on LinkedIn, brand expert Laura Ries expressed the sentiment this way:
The reality is that if you do not have a very strong brand ethic to work against, disagreements and turf battles on the inside easily divert time and attention from the unifying focus that any organization must have: the customer.
What is your organization supposed to do? Just do it. That is your brand.
Anything else must be ruthlessly chopped away, no matter how painful that may be.
* All opinions my own.