In terms of branding, companies need to learn to run at the same pace internally as well as externally. Building a truly world-class brand requires that the company makes sure that all of its internal processes, practices and symbols, fit its brand values. If the company’s brand is playing the role it should in creating value for the company, it should be viewed as a simple cohesive framework for organising all of the internal practices and processes and making sure they work towards creating the desired customer experience.
Succesfull companies do not see one single department as custodian of the customer relationship and do not rely only on market reasearch data to get to know their customers. They seek a better understanding of customer’s values, and the ways to customer relates with their brand. Then, they seek to spread this understanding at an intuitive level throughout their organisation. They build a shared understanding of the desired brand experiece and how it delivers value to the customers, emphasise trust among employees and what people must do not what people must not do.
The key principles that an organisation must follow in order to create a strong brand through its people can be summarised as follows:
1. Emphasise freedom not control
Effective brand management requires the organisation to agree to a set of firm priciples its true, but beyond that, the staff need to be trusted to get things done.
Organisations who succeed in delivering strong brands, tend to roll back the frontiers of head office.
3. Do things differently
Emphasise uniquely owned processes and practices rather than generic best practices.
4. Communicate your own brand positioning to your own people before you communicate it to your customers
This entails building a deep intuitive understanding of the brand among organisation’s own employees before communicating the brand promise to consumers.
5. Keep it simple
This applies both to the language and the processes the organisation use.
6. Operate across functions
Having a department as custodian for the brand and another one as custodian of the people simply does not fit the world-class brand buiding. A networked cross-functional way is more appropriate.
7. Think long term
Great brands are built overtime. Brand building needs to be viewed as a seven to ten year planning cycle.
Measure the things that really matter to the brand and one crucial thing about measurement is what happens to the results and the extent to which they are fed back to the front line staff in a way that drives actions.