So you’re trying to kick-start the growth of your organisation? Do you want to digitise your business and reach the next generation of customers and hot talent? If you answered yes to these questions… Why the hell waste time exploring your positioning in the market, or tweaking your logo to just create another lame tome of guidelines?
We’re finding in working with clients that the ye olde ‘Positioning + Visual Identity’ formula no longer delivers – it just doesn’t answer the most common questions of the MD, CEO and CMO.
“Well, Bob, this all looks very, er, colourful . . . and the uplift in turnover from this investment in changing the logo, all our marketing collateral and this super thick guidelines, was?”
Deafening silence as Bob sweats loosens his tie and starts to think about the queue at the Job Centre . . .”Er, um.”
In a more Google, WIKI, self-educated, and enlightened world; with an increasingly sceptical, less superstitious, more secular market, expectations of brands to be honest and to add value are greater than ever.
DON’T BE A DODO.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that brand development in the conventional sense slows the pace, it’s not fast enough to warrant its minimal change. All those brand strategies and brand guidelines can get in the way, becoming ridged security blankets that are hard to let go of. The brands that succeed are those that move faster, keep evolving and adapting to ever-changing data, feedback, truths and insights; allowing their business, and brand to evolve, adapt and grow. In turn, becoming stronger and less likely to go extinct.
SO THEN, WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Firstly, get rid of drab positioning above or below acceptance. Think absolute purpose. Don’t try to manufacture a superficial place in the world. Don’t just obsess about the competition or differentiating your brand from theirs. Instead, as with all good design – and I know this sounds deep – start with the question ‘Why?’
Why do we exist?
Why would anybody need us?
Why is what we do so useful?
Why would anyone pay (in time or money) for it?
Why is it valuable?
THEN ASK THE BIG QUESTION…
So, what is the difference you want to make, socially and commercially? It starts at a molecular level…. We need to change our way of thinking. It’s time to start seeing brands and companies not just as the cause, but also the effect. And for this to happen we must do three very distinct things – and each of these three distinct things is about reaching a clear and valued purpose.
1. DEEP WITHIN…
Don’t start with the name, logo, tagline or even identity.
“Huh? What’s this guy on?” I hear you say.
No, instead, design a whole experience for people – not just gestures here and there, but a completely holistic experience that covers all the things you do and every decision you make. This means becoming a more human user interface, in the greatest sense: throw off the armour of “marketing”. Strip everything back, expose the skin of the company and allow it to become more supple, absorbent and reactive to what it encounters on a day to day basis.
2. REVOLUTIONS RARELY START FROM THE TOP.
Don’t be the dictator of your brand – this only inhibits movement and change. Think constant evolving iteration.
Don’t try to maintain the status quo. Don’t secretly police your brand to death. Instead, keep experimenting, changing with every fresh insight. Keep connecting and sharing up with new people and new organisations. Let things grow from the roots, and the spores and seeds will spread by themselves.
3. TESTING, TESTING… 1, 2, 1, 2
Don’t try to nail down the future – have you ever tried? It’s a slippery little fella! Prototype it, test it, adapted it for greater and faster insights. Replace ownership with sharing; control with thinking, innovation and creativity. (Check out The Lean Start Up Machine, for more on this.)
IT’S EASY TO SPOT ORGANISATIONS THAT EMBRACE THIS NOTION.
The strongest brands are the ones that are aligned and ‘pulling’ together toward a common purpose. Once this alignment takes place, the rest comes naturally.
Customers are no longer ‘targets or prospects,’ since they will gravitate towards your message and products, seemingly from an inner magnetism.
And where does this magnetism comes? From honesty, clarity and a distilled and powerful sense of purpose. A purpose that reverberates with a new and positive meaning, within the organisation and out towards the client.
WHAT IS ALIGNANDPULL?
Corporate Branding Agency. AlignandPull intuitively guides the organisation’s workforce to act and behave in ways that promote and enhance this vision. Top-down and often droning internal messaging is greatly reduced. Each process becomes less synthetic, more natural. People feel empowered, more fluid, reacting to challenges as instinctively as the eyes to the sun or the ears to music.
Corporate Branding Agency. It becomes not about thinking, but about feeling. It’s time to leave the big, old, limping beast of Marketing behind. It’s time talk to us, about how we fire up progressive growth within brands, businesses and organisations in the most effective, successful and sustainable ways possible.