Some of the CrowdControlHQ team had the good fortune to be taught and mentored by Professor Leslie de Chernatony, an International thought leader on the subject and author of many best selling books on brand management.
During his time as a leading academic at Birmingham Business School he inspired many with his lectures, which were both enlightening and entertaining. He was one of the lecturers for whom we would religiously do our reading, knowing that he would spend the first 20 minutes of the lecture living his value of ‘challenging’, as he tested the room on key principles of the brand.
Today, he continues on his mission to educate businesses about how to grow and manage their brands and we are very grateful to him for inspiring us to believe in the power of good strategic brand management.
We take great pride at CrowdControlHQ in helping brands, organisations and businesses to grow and protect their brand. Our work brings us into contact with forward thinking CEOs, Directors and Boards who understand and can clearly define their brand.
These are the people who understand the reason their brand was put on this earth. Why it matters to their customers and their employees, and competitively how they need to position their brands to be a success in a ‘brand eat brand’ world. They look at their brand holistically and the nurturing and evaluation of their brand is built into their core delivery of the business.
Why? Because they know it will help their business to prosper, give their employees clear focus and empowerment, add value for customers and ultimately, impact on their bottom line!
A brand that is unclear of its purpose, lacks a strong vision and sense of direction will start to fade. Employees will start to get despondent and lose their sense of direction and eventually the brand will die. Customers will get confused about what the brand represents and the purpose in their lives, ultimately impacting negatively on the achievement of key organisational objectives.
So when was the last time you MOT’d your brand? Increasingly, we are hearing that austere times have led to cuts. Cuts have led to fewer qualified and experienced marketing managers acting as custodians of the brand. As a result the board lack the watchful eye over their brand and only finding out too late that their brand has been de-railed.
So today, we share with you 5 key questions that will help you to do a quick stock check of your brand.
- Is the brand strategy completely in line with the business today? We have the good fortune to get to look inside many types of organisation. When a business is struggling we notice that all too often the brand has become disconnected from the business. So ask yourself have your customers needs evolved through the years? Or you have new types of competitors to contend with? Being really clear on the purpose of your brand in today’s society and the real time problems it solves for people is critical to the health of your brand.
- Do people describe your brand as a logo? Let’s face it - in austere times it is all too easy to forget that a brand comprises of more than just the ‘pretty stuff’. So ask yourself how would your employees describe your brand? If their default position is to describe the logo or the company colour palette, you know that the organisation has lost it’s way. The outward brand identity is just one part of the picture – you also need to be aware of your position in the competitive context of the sector you operate in, how your customers, employees and competitors describe you, as well as what you are famous for in terms of your delivery?
- Are your employees inspired to drive the brand forward? The greatest advocates of your brand is your team. Strong brands take the time from the very first induction day of a new employee, to walk them through the brand story, the ethos and help them bed into the cultural aspect of the brand.
For existing employees who have been guided by a vision that was perhaps set some time ago, you should ask do they still believe in the vision? Is it relevant today and still in tune with the task at hand as a business? So on those cold dark winter mornings when that little bit of extra motivation is needed to get out of bed, do they come to work energised, with clear focus on what needs to be achieved as a collective and understand their role in the success of the organisation?
- Have you asked your customers recently what they think of your brand? If you have the helicopter view of a brand, you will be aware of the power of customer perception. It is all too easy for an organisation to become complacent, believing that the outward image projected, mirrors the customer perception of the brand. They forget that in an super competitive environment and in the digital age, our customers are surrounded by a large quantity of messaging, some of which may contradict or undermines what we say. If customers believe that our brands lack credibility, perhaps has dropped the ball in the past, they may position us entirely differently from where we would ideally like to be.
- Who on the board is responsible for championing the brand? It is all too easy to get wrapped up in the detail of product, sales, service uptake and the numbers. Who on the board is responsible for checking and challenging the brand managers and marketing team? It is all to easy to get caught up in the detail, losing sight of the bigger picture challenges associated with the brand.
So with the spotlight on protecting your brand in social media, we challenge you to first, take a step back and take the time to revisit your brand, perhaps use the new focus on the brand to make those refinements, tweaks and evaluate the infrastructure you have in place to build your brand amongst your employees, customers and your environments as a whole.
The bottom line is that to protect your brand reputation you need to be able to articulate what your brand represents, where it is heading and who is driving it forward. Only then can you put the necessary check and balances in place to protect it. And when that time comes we are ready to help!
CrowdControlHQ is the UK’s leading social media risk management and compliance platform built for enterprise. We help to protect brand reputations tweet by tweet, post by post! Please contact us to find our how we can help you.