Why I’m a branding missionary.
I am not a designer, nor am I a communications, image or branding consultant. My background includes being a principal or an executive in the fashion and information technology industries, management consulting, and construction and commercial real estate in Manhattan. I like to deal (pardon the pun) in the concrete.
As the Principal of an information technology start-up, I came to branding and image development a Doubting Thomas. How could branding, whatever that was, help the bottom line? “Give me numbers” was my refrain. Over the years, my opinions have changed. Nowadays, as far as branding and image are concerned, I am a missionary.
There have been certain basic facts that I have stumbled across in 30+ years of doing business. Two of the most fundamental and incontrovertible being:
— Companies that have direction do well.
— Companies that are well-organized succeed.
I believe that the simple act of embracing branding gives a company a strong sense of direction, and there is no better organizational tool than branding available to any firm.
Let me explain.
Once a company decides upon the image it wants to project in the marketplace and develops its branding strategy to project that image, positive changes begin to come about within the company. (Some of these changes even appear spontaneously.)
The brand, once developed as a defined entity, allows employees to understand more clearly what they are trying to accomplish, which in turn allows them to concentrate on how to achieve their individual goals. The different departments in the company begin to communicate with one another in terms of the company’s brand.
Since the various departments begin to focus on the higher overall concept of the brand, rather than the more parochial issues of self interest that sometimes arise between them, they too become more focused. These constituent parts of the company begin to align and work in a coordinated and more efficient manner in the direction of strengthening the brand.
There is also the sense of accomplishment that all humans feel in working with others once they are committed toward a common goal. This sense of camaraderie is reflected in greater synergy among employees, and greater efficiency and pride in the work they do.
It doesn’t take long for this synergy and focus, fueled by a sense of pride, accomplishment and camaraderie to show up on the bottom line. What’s more, aside from the cost of a consultant, you haven’t spent a penny.
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By Terence O’Connor | Terry is an entrepreneur and past client who has 30+ years of experience as a management consultant to diverse industries.