Before I get on to the rest of the 7 P’s of Marketing, I want to take a step back and point people to the point of this story arc. That is Alignment.
This is one of the things I learned when being coached through the development of the 2001 AFC Business Plan. If you all pull in the same direction all kinds of avenues in front of you. If you are pulling in different directions, you get nowhere.
I hope you see this lesson through this story arc. I am providing anecdotes in a very specific way as they show Brand Alignment or the lack thereof. But that is the point, when you act in accordance with your Brand – you add to it. When you act contrary to your Brand – you subtract from it. Most Businesses spend time thinking about Brand Building. It seems odd that they would work against their own interests, but I hope I have given you some food for thought around how that happens.
What’s funny is that most of these bad anecdotes start from a premise that makes some modicum of sense. Very rarely does it happen that people screw things up on purpose. So, how does a company lose alignment? It has a lot to do with lack of Leadership. What? How did we get from alignment in Branding to Leadership?
If you have learned anything from this Blog, I hope is that Actions speak Louder than Words (or Logos). People associate your Brand with your Actions. Now, the second part of this is how you inspire aligned actions from your Company? A Leader’s job is to give people the fulcrum to make decisions. In any given day, we all make decisions about how to perform any given job. The job of Leadership is to tell people how we would like them to make these decisions. Then we hold people accountable for applying the principals that we have given them to their day to day work.
That is why Alignment is so important. If we are all making decisions based on the same criteria, then we will move in the same direction. This thought of Alignment can start from anywhere. I view the Business Plan as the place where it needs to be documented. Mission and Visions are required. But Business Plans are about Action. People need to know the Actions that they need to take to align themselves. The Business Plan is the place where the measurable are defined for people.
Next week, we are back to the 7 P’s and I hope this context is helpful!
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