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Become a Brand-Driven Organization - Without Breaking The Bank

Applying the principles of branding can help any organization increase its effectiveness, whether it operates on its own or as part of a larger corporate brand. Moreover, by involving employees in such a way that they are empowered to act, leadership is freed to focus on policy and process requiring attention.

What Is “Brand-Driven” and Why Is This Concept Relevant?

Brand-driven organizations are uniquely effective at aligning strategic direction with implementation. This requires business savvy to increase value while optimizing efficiency and cutting costs. To be effective, they focus on creating a customer (stakeholder) experience that is well-defined and consistent across all touch points. These individuals include everyone who deals with the organization.

What Is The Connection Between Branding and Corporate Culture?

When an organization operates according to the principles of branding, the employees are empowered to make decisions based on the values associated with the brand. This means that in the everyday course of business, supervisors spend less time making decisions and more time enabling and facilitating collaboration between colleagues. Such collaboration creates a “safe space” for employees to do good work and be valued for it, which in turn lifts morale and increases employee engagement.

What Can You Do In The Short Term To Promote A Brand-Driven Organization?

1. Form a working group charged with leading the brand transformation effort.

Normally there is an Executive Sponsor, an Implementing Officer, and a small team of assistants from throughout the organization (3-4), working part time.

2. Conduct a self-assessment of the brand. 
  • List all the stakeholders. 
  • Conduct a “gap analysis” (this is the difference between how leadership perceives itself, and how customers perceive it) around 4 focus areas: vision, mission, core values, and service delivery. 
  • Use primary evidence, such as focus groups, along with secondary research, such as newspaper articles about the company. 
3. Have the working group present its findings.

This meeting is a facilitated workshop where:
  • Individual findings are presented to leadership. 
  • Leadership has a free-flowing discussion of their reactions to what they heard. 
  • Leadership brainstorms ideas for next steps in each area, followed by a discussion of “what should we do about this?” 
  • The ideas are distilled into a set of notes and distributed to leadership for review. 
4. Re-convene executives to discuss next steps.

Again, this meeting is a facilitated workshop where:
  • The brainstorming results are presented to senior leadership. 
  • Action steps are narrowed into 3-5 specific areas for implementation. Typically this would consist of such things as: policies creating perception problems, process improvement needs, and identification of gaps between values articulation and delivery. 
Branding is not very hard to do, nor does it need to be expensive. Mostly what's required is the will to be honest, and then to do what it takes to succeed.


All opinions my own.

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