This part of my branding story is complete. I want to review where the story from this time. Then we can look at forward.
The primary piece of this story arc is the post called Branding: Alignment. I bring this back because Alignment is the term that I am using and that post related how Alignment dealt with Leadership. I want to expand on this here so that you can have some actionable thoughts for next year.
The point of the Alignment piece was that one can use a Brand as a Touchstone within a business to help people organize their day to day activity. The fact of a Touchstone is very important. I have seen people use Business Plans, Mission Statements, Values, BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals), and other constructs for this purpose.
There is a piece that is often missed one this organizing principle has been created. Many of these statements are lofty ideals. They don’t contain practical advice for a person on how such a principle should change their day to day activities. If Leadership is about creating that “City on a Hill” view of a company, then Management is about the Gameplan to get to that special place.
People often talk about Management in derisive tones, especially compared to Leadership. But both are necessary functions of a well run Business. Too much Vision and not enough Execution leads to the same place as the reverse. So what is needed in Business is Balance, just as this in necessary in Life.
So how does this work in practice? Essentially Leadership at a level is Management at the level above. A front line Supervisor needs to execute, but also think about the people in his or her group. The 2nd line Supervisor execution is about making sure that the front line Supervisor has a good personnel strategy in place for their group and so on.
So, how does this relate to Brand? Branding is a visible external Touchstone within a Business that each employee, customer, and partner can relate to. Within the Business, that Brand should be connected by Leadership to every employee. If this is successful, outside the Business partners and customers will see the result of the activity. As this becomes aligned and adds to the Brand, the Brand becomes a premium Brand. And that is what Marketing strove for in the first place.
So when we think about Taglines and Logos, think about the message that is being conveyed to everyone. Not just customers but employees, partners and even investors.
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