There is not much point in addressing your corporate brand if there isn’t the will to implement the strategy developed. A worse situation is where the upper management have the desire to implement the brand strategy but there is no buy-in among the employees and other stake holders for that matter. When I facilitate my process, “Brand Navigator,” the very first step is to pick the branding team. This group of individuals are made up of the stake holders of the company from the top down. The head of the company who is the visionary is a must attendee. From there, I request other individuals who are not just from the management level. One very important person or persons is what I like to call the wrench. This person is a leader among the employees. They are looked upon as the spokesperson. They are known as a wrench, because they tend to throw a monkey wrench into initiatives they deem frivolous and put upon. The key is to make them part of the solution, they in turn become advocates for the new brand strategy and willingly push it out to their constituency among the stakeholders. Wrenches can be powerful allies. It is key to understand this dynamic. Wrenches are typically good employees as well and they can be quite passionate about the company. It is very important to get them on-brand.
Some companies take it upon themselves to implement internal branding efforts to help their staff buy-in to the strategy. This is done in a myriad of ways including role-playing, internal communications, brand training, etc. Delivering the brand promise from shop floor up to senior management is crucial to the success of your brand. I’ve been a lot of reading this week on this topic and I believe from the examples i read that getting buy-in from employees will be difficult if the initial strategies were developed by senior management exclusively. Selling it after the fact could possibly lead the wrench, to “go throughout the motions” to please management, with the staff walking in step with them. This effort was described as the bridge from developing the strategy to rolling it out. From my perspective, it’s a bridge on a weak foundation. I believe that in order to effectively roll out the strategy the solution has to come from all stakeholders together. This is the way to develop a strategy that resonates with everyone who’s livelihood depends on the success of the company.
I enjoy delivering positioning strategies that the entire company is excited about. They are excited because as a cohesive unit they took the high ground together. Branding can never be a solo act. Every solution I facilitate as a team effort is very powerful.
It empowers everyone and it absolutely resonates with customers. This is when you know it’s the right move to make. It takes much of the risk out of the strategy, regardless of how bold a statement it may be.
The three musketeers had it right, “all for one, and one for all.”