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.