August 30, 2017

Leadership. Is it you or the brand?

I have worked with many businesses, companies and individuals in my career. Some have been well established with a good market-share and doing “OK thank you”… Without exception all say they have a brand, they have organised the staff to do their job, systems are in place and distribution is set-up. They promote the brand image, they advertise the product and the sales network is taking orders.

The one defining similarity is that one person leads them. Whether a director, manager or owner they all infuse the business with their dreams, style, personality and competency. A very powerful cocktail when working with others less motivated, or possibly more in some cases. That one person, the leader, will define the brand for the company regardless if well established or brand-spanking-new. To build brand leadership the brand must be lead. Not by expectation but by example. All successful brands have defined who, what and why they are what they are.

This vision is the “Brand Culture”. Most companies allow the culture to manifest itself by default rather than design. This brand culture is exactly that, a culture brought about by internal relationships within a company- good or bad. These in turn are projected out as an attitude- good or bad. This affects the customer experience at some point, regardless whether it’s good or bad.

If you are to lead a successful brand you must define its holist character and put in place guidance as to its cultural values for ALL to follow. These in turn must be promoted to management and staff alike and educational programmes put in place on expectations and goals for all brand ambassadors.

So, do you lead by example – good or bad, or do you promote a culture that delivers exactly what you want -relationships that endure and prosper to the benefit of all so the customer gets the same experience from everyone.