Brand: its your behaviour
Brand isn’t just about clever slogans, logos, colours, fonts and imagery – once upon a time it may have been about creating a ‘mark’ to ‘brand’ or express property or control such as with ‘livestock’ back in the ‘Old West’, but not today in the 21st century. Today it goes far deeper than a ‘mark’ or ‘logo’ – beyond the superficial. Brand is an intangible quality that is expressed in tangible terms – in other words it’s a core value or belief that is truly lived and acted out in the form of a behaviour, action or attitude – a ‘code of conduct’ in the workplace and even outside of those realms.
From an ‘ideal’ or holistic perspective, brand is a combination of vision, purpose, personality, behaviour, visuals and finally marketing (to take the message to market). All elements need to be aligned for the brand to work effectively. In doing so the ‘brand blueprint’ is complete. This is when your ‘brand’ becomes greater than the sum of its parts.
It is the behaviour however, expressed through and derived from the brand values, that is a crucial part of the brand blueprint or brand equation (for the more technical or scientific among us). The ‘behaviour’ makes the brand a tangible force, gives the brand ‘life’ in the eyes of the customer and keeps individuals or employees aligned, motivated and accountable for their actions – thus acting as a guideline for employees to make decisions, take action or express behaviour. A brand should therefore empower employees, not restrict them to unnatural, mechanistic soul-destroying behaviour: ‘Do you want extra sauce with that?’
Break this behaviour or ‘code of conduct’ and you break the brand and the bond of trust you’ve created in the hearts and minds of your customer. Remember, your customer creates a brand in their head and hearts – all you have to do to reinforce that belief and secure that trust is act within and according to your brand values.
Behaviour expresses our thinking – if we ‘think’ it, we act upon it. Since our thoughts create our reality, our thoughts will be expressed through our words. Our words must therefore match our deeds or actions for congruency and trust – invoking the ‘like, know trust factor’. (If someone ‘likes’ you, they will grow to ‘know’ you and then ‘trust’ you over time based on your behaviour.) Behaviour is therefore what keeps us aligned, accountable and in balance with our values but also what ultimately delivers the trust for a brand to thrive and create your desired tangible results i.e. sales revenue and profit.
Behaviour can only be achieved by training and development internally that is aligned with your specific brand values. It is a process that does require time, effort and understanding from leaders and managers who understand the value and benefits of employee training and the results that can manifest from such training.
ROI can be measurable through a series of metrics, variables and parameters: employee performance and productivity over a set time, positive employee retention levels (recruitment can be a painful and expensive experience without brand values as a guide – see my last blog here), strong work satisfaction levels, a positive culture and an all-round increase in and improvement of staff morale.
Wouldn’t it be great to have employees enthusiastic, motivated and willing to work instead of spending $$$$ on motivational speakers who are great but offer a short-term outlook and gimmicks to compel your staff? For those who claim ‘motivation no longer works’, look no further than values! Investing in ‘brand’ might just BE your answer!
I hope you learned something new, insightful or useful from this blog.
As The Brand Entrepreneur, I believe in helping businesses build a ‘brand blueprint’ for business growth. I do this through a series of workshops designed to help businesses realise and communicate their ‘Why?’ to resonate with ideal customers and make a difference in the world. Successful brands in the future care about customers, not branding. I believe that future is now. I’m passionate about creating brand stories & design assets that help brands get ‘in sync’ and connected to customers they care about.