Horns before the bull

Horns before the bull

Developing processes and procedures is essential for any business wanting to create a service that clients experience consistently. One thinks of the unseen processes that make up some of the core values of McDonalds in terms of speed and consistency, essentially creating the McDonalds “experience”.

Often consultants, process engineers et al create processes with great skill that improves efficiency, productivity etc but without any regard for what they want clients to experience. They even create internal brands. Project This and Project That. Or acronyms. Spoken of with reverence, it is going to change THEIR world for the better.

But why do we create processes?

The start point must be to create a better world for the clients and improve the brand experience. The problem is that few know what their brand values are and therefore have nothing to match or test their processes against. What I would like to see at the start of any project is the brand values being marked in bold on the white board, forming the “horns” for the “bull” to follow.

Not that I think processes are a lot of bull.

Rather, I am referring to the “greater body” that backs the brand experience, delivering the brand values. Getting back to McDonalds, what would that mighty symbol mean if you had to wait 30 minutes for an eight buck burger. And then it tasted different every time. It is the processes, not the symbol, that keeps junk foodies coming back time and again.

These processes form 85% of the McDonalds experience.

But you need to be crystal clear on what the brand values are upfront in order to develop processes that match brand values most closely. If you don’t do this, you risk a disconnect between what is said and what is experienced.

Put the horns before the bull.

Gary Hendrickse
CEO Sherpa
May 2008

Sherpa Brand & Design Agency
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