4 Healthy Habits to Strengthen Your Brand
Branding is a function that is often isolated into one of two departments in most organizations – Human Resources or Marketing. The travesty of that reality is that since a brand operates at an enterprise level, its ownership should too. Successful businesses understand that HR and Marketing need to work together to ensure a strong, healthy and relevant brand.
“In many organizations, HR controls internal communications while marketing is responsible for external communications,” says Ann Pedersen, Director of Marketing and Communication Strategy for OBI Creative. “By separating the two, the brand tone, messaging and strategy could end up being different for employees than for the public. The best way to maintain brand consistency is to build your brand from the inside out, viewing employees as your greatest brand ambassadors, heralding who you are to consumers in a unified, effective manner.”
Survey Says Branding Matters
In a recent survey, PWC Global found that 68% of CEOs agreed strongly that in an increasingly digital world, it’s most important to have a strong corporate purpose, that’s reflected in corporate values, culture and behaviors. What CEOs are saying, in effect, is that a strong brand matters a lot in this increasingly digital, global marketplace. If you want to strengthen your brand, start by adopting these four healthy habits.
- Agree on Ownership. Brand consistency starts with Senior Leadership, HR and Marketing agreeing on who ultimately ‘owns’ the brand. While the CEO is the ultimate brand steward, healthy brands are embraced by everyone in the company, and that kind of harmony is only achieved when there’s one clear brand conductor directing HR, Marketing and everyone else’s efforts.
- Align the Corporate and Employee Brand. Your brand will express itself differently to consumers and employees, but it should still look and feel like the same brand. Make sure you aren’t weakening your brand by isolating it into dissimilar or unrelated employee and consumer expressions.
- Bring Everyone to the Table. We mentioned this earlier but getting buy-in from senior leadership on who owns the brand and how it will be expressed internally and externally is critical. Great brands get and keep everyone on the same page. This helps align operations with marketing, so that customer expectations can be consistently exceeded.
- Make Sure Your Brand is ‘Yours.’ Your brand should be uniquely yours; meaning, it accurately reflects who you are and what you do as a small business, organization or company. If you’re trying to be something you’re not, customers will know right away and sense the tension.
Branding has been in our wheelhouse since OBI Creative was founded as an entrepreneurial project at Gateway more than 15 years ago. Our brand platform services interrogate your current mission, vision, values, positioning and tone based on our research findings and rework your brand if necessary, honing it for optimal reach and relevance.