Setting the stage for growth using your brand

For many organizations, brand is an under-utilized tool for growth. Where to start? By assessing your brand’s performance across individual components, you can isolate precisely where attention is needed to foster growth and what actions to take. In doing so you will also be achieving a new level of brand readiness, arming your organization with the ability to pivot on threats and act on opportunities more quickly and strategically.

A more precise way to consider brand readiness

We’re all familiar with the notion brand is more than your logo. What does more actually mean? We think of brand as comprising seven individual components to be considered as you set out to assess your brand’s performance and its readiness to support growth.

 

Authenticity Is your brand soundly based on a stated internal truth or capability? Its story and values should be clear and well grounded. Your brand and its people deliver against the resulting high expectations you’ve created among your stakeholders.
Relevance Does your brand occupy a place in stakeholders’ lives, days and moments? It should satisfy pre-determined needs, desires and decision criteria.
Differentiation Do your stakeholders perceive clear differences between your brand proposition and experience and those of your competitors and comparatives?
Consistency Do stakeholders experience your brand and its people as intended, without fail, across all experiences, touchpoints and formats?
Prominence Does your brand feel omnipresent to audiences? Is it considered an authority in current and developing media and social platforms?
Dynamism Are your organization and people prepared to evolve gradually or pivot in the moment to rise to challenges or capture opportunities? Can you make change without abandoning your stated internal truth?
Impact Do your brand and people do the right thing according to your stated values and internal truth? Can your actions be considered selfless, particularly under difficult circumstances?

 

Hearts and minds plus days and moments

In addition to assessing your brand’s readiness across these seven components, another question brand owners can ask is, “where does our brand belong in our stakeholders’ lives?”

This brings greater specificity to the notion that brands should establish a place in audiences’ hearts and minds, elevating that goal to securing a place in the customer’s days and moments.

The era of empathy

For all the challenges COVID-19 presents, it is also providing organizations with the opportunity to rethink their brands’ commitment to feel, think and act with empathy.

Being an empathetic brand is not dressing CSR in new clothes. Nor is it espousing an ephemeral purpose that’s difficult to make real and relevant to people on a day-to-day basis. The empathetic brand takes to heart its responsibility to see people as people, understand their feelings and requirements, recognize and value their agency, and help them flourish according to their own unique capabilities and preferences.

The empathetic brand thinks and acts this way not because it has to, but because it wants to. In doing so, it attracts likeminded people as employees, partners and prospective customers. By authentically aligning with their values, empathetic brands are rewarded with growth.