Brands are often misunderstood. For many people it’s a logo or a style of advertising, nothing more than that. But, as Dr Stephen Downes from RMIT University in Melbourne points out, the brand resides in your customer’s mind as a set of associations. Those associations aren’t just logos and advertising, they’re influenced by the attitudes you convey and how your company behaves.
That’s why your HR department needs to be as involved in building your brand as your marketing department. The people who work for you have as much (if not more) influence as multi-million dollar advertising campaigns when it comes to how your brand is perceived. Many companies waste a fortune telling their audience that they are something that everyone can see they are clearly not — think banks and telcos!
If you are true to your brand, then your marketing dollar will go further, because your messages are believable. If not, you’ll start to see diminishing returns.
If your company has a history of failing to meet expectations then it might be time to ditch your brand and start again. Leigh Cowan refers to this as his Law of Brand Decay. He says the optimum situation is where you consistently exceed your customers expectations, infact this is the only real sustainable position for your brand.