Think of it as a brand selfie; imagine, for a moment, that your brand is a person. If it walked into the room today, what words would you use to describe it?
If asked the same question, would your employees and customers list some – or any – of the same characteristics?
How would you have described your brand 5 years ago?
Has the development of your brand from where it was in the past to where it is now been a product of strategy or circumstance – or both?
What words would you hope to use to describe your brand one – five – or ten years from now?
No one thinks your brand is perfect; you shouldn’t either.
Working these questions through with your leadership team as part of your overall branding strategy development can provide valuable insights. Answering these questions honestly will likely mean that negatively-perceived words will be listed alongside positive ones, and that’s ok. After all, if something is already perfect, how can it be improved?
This exercise can be much more than a branding party game. The answers to these questions can help you identify:
- Where your brand “is” today
- How it has already evolved
- How it’s gone from where it used to be to where it is now
- Where you want it to go, and
- How will you make it happen
What’s more, honest evaluation and discussion can reveal discrepancies between how you may view your brand vs. the perceptions of other managers and employees, board members, investors, vendors, and other key stakeholders, including customers. It might even reveal that the vision you have for your brand’s evolution does not match up with how key stakeholders believe it should evolve.
If you have never thought about your brand this way before, it’s good food for thought. This exercise can be incorporated into annual leadership retreats and should be reflected in brand identity sections of your strategic business or long range plan.
Your brand might not be a person, but it has a persona – and personas can change.
Thinking about your brand like a person (or at least an entity with a persona) can better help you see its strengths, weaknesses and potential.
Think about it; as a person you realize that you are imperfect. There are areas where you can do better, improve, be more sensitive to others, be more assertive, communicate more effectively, be less self-centered, learn and develop in an almost limitless number of areas.
The more open you are to seeing your brand as a living, breathing, evolving being, the more you will be able to strategically develop the branding strategy and brand persona you want the world to perceive.
Originally published on my LinkedIn profile.
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