Business is a process, not an entity. Successful businesses are those that continually adapt to changes in the marketplace, the industry, the economy and culture. They behave more like organisms, dividing and combining as needed. Let the brand live, breathe, make mistakes, be human instead of trying to present a Teflon-smooth surface, project a three-dimensional personality, inconsistencies and all. Brands can afford to be inconsistent – as long as they don’t abandon their defining attributes.
They’re like people. For example, in the morning you can wear a T-shirt, and in the evening a dress shirt. One moment you can be serious and the next laugh out loud. Despite these apparent inconsistencies in your dress and demeanor, your friends and colleagues will still recognise you. What makes you ‘YOU’ is deeper than appearances and moods. I’ll venture one step further, and say that brands that don’t project depth and humanity tend to create suspicion among customers.
A living brand is a collaborative performance, and every person in the company is an actor. When a rep lands a new customer, when an admin takes a phone call, when a CFO issues a profit warning, when a product manager gives a demo, when an accountant pays an invoice – each of these events adds depth and detail to the brand, just as surely as a new marketing campaign or website does. No decision should be made without asking, ‘Will it help or hurt the brand?’
When people’s experiences match their expectations, their loyalty increases. Well that’s all well and good for companies that had decades and sometimes centuries to build a brand. and it might actually work for some companies with multi-millions to invest in global multi-channel campaigns, but what can my company do about it? How do I get started?
Check out my next blog for the To-Do list for building a brand!