Why Branding should be the heart of every business.
So what is branding?
I believe that branding is all of the above and so much more.
Prior to the dawn of branding, the majority of businesses worldwide have operated from a purely functional aspect, not understanding the power of the emotional connection that brands can form with their employees, stakeholders and customers. They have just focused on their Visions and Missions to help them grow the company coupled with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), Six Sigmas and ISOs.
Oscar Motomura founder and CEO of the Amana-Key Group,, an asset management training company in Sao Paulo, shares a meeting he had with the great Peter Drucker. Drucker expounded that the “the essence of a company is making a difference, being really useful and creating something the world truly needs. A creed is important because a company without a compelling reason to exist can’t hope to tap into the full potential of its employees.”
Companies that are perceived to be great brands find themselves in an enviable position with regard to recruiting new staff. They often have the best picks from the cream of the crop and a very low turnover of staff.
One such case in point is SAS, the world’s largest privately-held software business – with revenues of USD2.3 billion, it was voted Fortune magazine’s No.1 employer in 2009. How did they get to such a position?
Over in Malaysia you don’t have to look very far for exemplary employers. Digi has been consistently talked about as an employer of choice ever since they restructured their organization a few years ago. Buidling a culture based on Openess, Transparency, Flexibility and Positiveness, they have managed to consistently grow from strength to strength.
Used carefully and wisely, your brand with its creed, values and essence is an indispensable tool in managing and growing your people, delivering great product and services – and last but not least, delivering great returns to shareholders.
Companies that understand Brands and Branding and use it to motivate, nurture and grow employees, have seen their products fly off the shelves, even if they charge a premium rate. Visionary companies understand the strong spirit of togetherness that connects the employees and know that this same zeal has the power to connect emotionally to their consumers as well. Cult Brands are those that consumers refer to as their friends, as something they can’t live without. Harley Davidson is based on companionship and the concept of belonging.
Great brands are those who understand us (Apple and iPod) and make us feel valued. If you have ever walked into a Ritz Carlton anywhere in the world, you will immediately feel the difference. Their brand essence of Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen is deeply instilled in all their staff who carry the brand tenets around in their pocket and before the start of every work day, pick one of the tenets to embody. This is a true example of living the brand. Great brands deliver great products and even if they fail – think Apple’s PDA, the Newton– they still have a strong following.
Brands have moved from being just mere products to becoming a trusted and sometimes indispensable part of our lives. When your brands rise to the status of friend – you have acquired the means of a stable income through their loyalty thus reducing the risk of running your business. It is the stuff that dreams are made of.
If we are ever to create great international brands, we need to start by asking ourselves, why we are in business and who we are serving.