For many years, organizations were able to thrive, almost despite themselves. At that time, a combination of public sentiment and sociology were driving forces that encouraged people to join and participate in organizations. However, in today’s environment, with so much competition for our time, money and resources, successful organizations must demonstrate a compelling reason why people should choose them. What is their compelling and vital reason for their existence? How would they describe their brand? What exactly is an organization’s brand, and why is it so important. Walter Landor summed up the value of brands in this way, “Products are made in the factory; brands are created in the mind.” An organization’s brand is necessary in order to build and sustain trust, relevance, significance and value.
1. Branding an organization is an essential by- product of the strategic planning process. How can an organization describe itself, in just a few words, that distinguishes it while whetting the appetite of its supporters and potential supporters? When someone thinks of the organization, what is the first image that jumps into their head? Is it positive or negative? Brands build upon relevant mission statements and are used to entice others to get more information, pay more attention, want to belong, feel value and relevance, and make the organization instantly recognizable. For example, in business, Nike has effectively built their brand around superstars like Michael Jordan and Tiger Words, and their trademark swish creates instant brand recognition. They began a campaign many years ago about wanting to be like Mike, and Nike has successfully built upon that to create a brand that is easily recognizable, considered to be of quality, and attracts winners and those that want to win. Similarly, when someone see’s Target’s trademark bulls- eye, they think of the company, and Target has successfully created a brand built on recognition, perception of value, and being somewhat more trendy than other discount stores such as Walmart. Perhaps the best example of branding is Apple, and their trademark, where people are convinced that the product is so cutting edge and superior that it is worth spending more than competitors items (which Apple’s marketing markets that other products are not Apple).
2. Organizations must brand to convince others that they are worthy of their attention. What is most compelling about the organization’s story, mission, vision, achievements, etc? How is the organization different and superior at what they stand for? Every successful organization must create its unique and important niche, and must build on that through its branding efforts on a continuous basis.Successful organizations use their mission statement as part of their branding effort, by creating a mission statement that can also serve as a motivating sound byte.
To brand or not to brand, is that the question? Not really, because if an organization wishes to remain relevant and evolve continuously to maintain attention, it must successfully create its brand in a significant and value- oriented manner.
With over 30 years consultative sales, marketing, training, managerial, and operations experience, Richard Brody has trained sales and marketing people in numerous industries, given hundreds of seminars, appeared as company spokesperson on over 200 radio and television programs. He’s negotiated, arranged and organized hundreds of events.