Why brands start with people

If you want to build or improve your brand the first thing to address is your people.

Brands only exist because of people. People buy from and interact with other people. A brand is an interaction between the products of people’s actions.

The majority of that interaction is emotional – our choice and attachment to a brand is primarily visceral and emotion driven – despite how we may like to see ourselves as rational human beings.

It has long been an adage that a brand is fundamentally about what an organisation does.  Wrong…  organisations do not ‘do’ things – people in organisations do things. It’s what they do and how they do things that reaches out to other people.

Anyone involved in building or developing a brand should begin with the people in the organisation.

  • Treat them well – if they don’t love the business how will outsiders connect.
  • Make sure they understand the values of the company – they will communicate those values in all they do.
  • Ensure they share the aspirations of the business.
  • Create a culture of understanding and respect for all they do business with – customers, suppliers, colleagues and the world at large.
  • Pay attention to the language in the organisation. It will tell you a lot about how well you are doing. When a sales person refers to customers as ‘punters’ for example, something is wrong.
  • Accept responsibility for brand leadership. It is something of great value, if you recognise that value, your people will, and so will the world outside.