A brand is the outer expression of your company’s proposition, values and strategy. These, of course, might not be mutually exclusive. A brand then, becomes a powerful symbol that communicates what your company is about in a petite package. Conversely, a brand without strong corporate beliefs, direction and commitment behind it becomes nothing but a pretty graphical symbol to consumers and business partners at large.
The implication of this is that the brand identity is but one small arena in an entire corporate management process. In order for a good brand to become great, underlying human resource infrastructure has to be in place; data systems have to be in place; perhaps most importantly, management strategy has to be clearly articulated and has to make sense. A brand then affects all spheres of business, and not just the effort of a corporate communications team.
Fast Company wrote on how to create a brand with values. I take issue with the title because I don’t think a brand is created before the values. Values are articulated in the brand. In a sense, your brand is what you believe, and no matter how much you try to dress it up, the truth will still show in the end. Brands that have been featured in Fast Company’s article are brands that have stuck to what they believe in, and their business strategy and actions backs that up. That is how you create credible, trustworthy brands that people can identify with and appreciate.
That, is my firm belief.