Branding and the Environment

Palms with a tree growng from pile of coinsHow the environment can grow your brand?

Happy World Environment Day!!

Back in 1972, the United Nations dedicated June 5th to the environment. Bringing global citizens together to create a better world for our children. Since then, there has been thousands of worthy initiatives around the world; beach clean-ups, tree planting, sustainable energy, education and preservation, even food consumption. All a collaborative effort to maintain environmental integrity.

In 2014, the focus is on small island nations that are most at risk of rising ocean levels. I find it interesting that with all the potential opportunities for sustainable change, small islands are the current focus of the campaigns. These islands feel the most profound effect of climate change due their close relationship to rising ocean levels. They’re front line workers for the WED brand.

“No man is an island.”

You may have heard this quote, by John Donne, a metaphysical poet, lawyer and priest that lived in the 1600s. The quote suggests that we are not alone or separate from others, that indeed, we are all one expression of human existence albeit with different forms, situations and opinions.

We all have common desires and share based fundamental root values. However our priorities vary depending on our needs states and the environment in which we exist.

Nurture your environment and grow your business.

Think of your business as the environment in which your brand exists. Your business structures, the culture and the internal ‘climate’ of your organization are the foundation of your brand. This is the environment where your employees experience your brand. In turn they express that brand value to your customers though their interactions, choices and decisions. It’s not only the product or service that presents your brand, it’s the relationship people have with each other that creates your brand experience. As a business leader, you must ensure that your employees are delivering a consistent brand experience to your customers.

Recent research indicates that customers’ highest measure of trust is consistent quality and every moment counts toward this. Every interaction with your brand is a deciding moment. More and more brands are failing because of negative experiences.

As an individual representing a brand, you are not an island.

No matter what your role in the organization, you are part of something much larger than yourself. Though your needs or priorities may be different because of where you are inside the organization, you are always in relationship with the brand. And representing the brand to your customers in a way that reflects the value proposition that meets your customers needs.

So often organization miss the opportunity of aligning values to build trust and brand integrity. They spend thousands in marketing dollars to promote their brand products, promise or service. Then somebody has a bad day at work and lashes out or ignores a customer. Or maybe an executive shares his personal opinion instead of that of the brand. WOOSH! Your marketing spend is washed away like a tide of emotion.

If your customers’ needs are not met or the brand experience is inconsistent, they start to loose trust. Trust is the key to maintaining loyal customers. So how do you ensure that your customers are experiencing a consistent and integrated brand experience? Align your brand values and marketing message internally. So ‘no man is an island’ but part of the bigger brand experience.

Authentic brands align internal values with their external value proposition.

It means hiring the right people to fit the positions AND the culture within the company so that you deliver an integrated brand experience. Maintaining brand integrity takes visionary leadership and cultural alignment.

In my next entry, I’ll be sharing more about how to enhance your internal brand so you can grow your business beyond the competition. If you haven’t already read the book GROW, check my overview here.

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