11 Jul Five ways to align your team behind your brand
1. CRAFT A BRAND STRATEGY
You need to create a blue print based on how you want customers to experience your company, forming your brand. Forget the normal stuff like such as integrity, reliability, competitive pricing, quality product etc. Well, don’t forget it entirely but just see these noble attributes as simply qualifiers.
Focus on digging deep and finding the 4 or 5 features of your business which really resonate with your chosen market. Some of these features might surprise you but start thinking outside-in instead of inside-out to get closer to real needs.
2. THE CEO AS BRAND CHAMPION
Do not fall into the trap of seeing the brand as a “Marketing department” thing. Your brand is the way customers feel about you. Therefore, your brand cuts across all of the disciplines in your business. It takes effort from all of the people and disciplines in the business.
As it is unlikely that IT, HR or even Finance will take instructions or direction from the Marketing Manager, the CEO must take responsibility for ensuring that the brand is “lived” in each corner of the business.
3. CREATE EXCITEMENT
We all love brands. Apple. Nike. BMW. MacDonalds. Real Madrid. Google. There’s a magic around brands. You might not be an “Apple” but talk like an Apple. Talk like you want to be the most-admired brand in your industry or your area or category. You want to be the best. Get your employees excited about this journey they’re about to embark on, a journey that few have the privilege to travel. Create new belief and freshness of purpose.
Go where you’ve never gone before.
4. ACTIVATE THE BRAND INTERNALLY
There are few things sadder than a new logo with no substance. Or a brand promise with no meaning. Tragically, a brand strategy which is never fulfilled. You need to get your employees living the brand at every level.
It’s not that difficult if you have a good brand strategy. Let’s say that one of your brand values is RESPONSIVE.
Sit down with an employee, whatever the job description, and encourage action.
“Let’s just work on one brand value this month. RESPONSIVE. How do you understand that word? Excellent, now let’s think of a way to deliver those reports to Procurement in a more dynamic way. If we can do this, they can buy material quicker and Sales can then be more RESPONSIVE to customer orders.”
And so you take the brand values throughout the business. Employee by employee.
5. COMMUNICATE LIKE YOU MEAN IT
Newsletters should not be plonked together. Rather, newsletters should aim to encourage or change certain behaviour, celebrate milestones and successes, and tell positive stories which can influence others. When you’re on your brand journey, find the stories and tell them in an entertaining way.
Get some posters up on the canteen walls. Take the poster design and content as seriously as if you’re trying to attract customers. In fact, you are trying to attract employees to your brand.
Put Brand on the agenda of all meetings, be that a Board meeting or supervisors meeting. The Brand should be there to stay – make sure that it is always top of mind.
Contact Sherpa’s CEO Gary Hendrickse to help craft your brand strategy and embed the brand in your business.