The worlds of business, marketing, consumers and employees have evolved, resulting in a series of inflection points that have fundamentally altered the way people interact with and respond to brands and companies. The change demands a new way of thinking and a new approach to brand strategy.
Our view about what’s important in life has changed. This has given people a new way of judging the world, a new way of judging the activities of business, a new way of judging corporations.
Increasingly, we are assessing businesses by ‘who they are’, ‘what they stand for’, and ‘what they do’ - not by what they ‘sell’.
However, the connection between the business world and the consumer world is increasingly frayed. Two thirds of people said they no longer trusted big business* and more than 80% said the corporate world failed to reflect their values.
Consumer assessment has gone beyond product and performance dimensions to motives, beliefs, values and company philosophy.
The importance of a guiding philosophy
Today’s successful companies are philosophy, value and purpose led organisations. These companies emanate success, esteem and enduring relationships because they are able to define and express their reason for being, their sense of purpose.
What’s at its heart?
We believe everyone connected to the organisation, from board director to the mail room, should be able to answer two questions:
“Who are you? And Why do you do what you do?”
We’ve found that when a company has a guiding philosophy, life gets a whole lot simpler. It also gets a driving force.
We believe ‘branding’ is not just about a logo, or a look and feel, or a tag line, but about fulfilling a company’s full potential. The organisations that thrive are those where ‘brand’ is resonant in every act of the organisation.
As such, we view brand strategy and culture creation as one, and believe the key to success lies in driving tight alignment between brand enlightenment (the guiding philosophy) brand enactment (staff behaviour) brand espousal (every external and internal communication) and brand experience (the consumers, society’s and the world’s view of the organisation).
Brand strategy today is about giving the company and its people life and meaning. Consumers deserve and demand authenticity which means that who you are, what you say and what you do need to line up like never before. Companies need to be true to themselves, brands need to be remarkable, and customers need to know that what they are promised and what they experience will line up.