One of the most effective ways to respond to a changing world is through branding – but not as you know it. The days when brand was a marketing function are over. Brand is now a leadership issue.
Your brand is not something you add to your business, brand is the reason your business exists. Your brand is the purpose and passion that propels everything your company does.
Whatever you manufacturer or sell, somebody else can do it better, faster, and cheaper than you. It is your brand, and the purpose and passion that it embodies, that people will buy into.
Brand is your “reason why”. Why I should believe you, why I should work for you, why I should choose you, why I should endorse you.
So why is your brand great? Why does your brand matter? Seriously. Because if you don’t know, then nobody else will know either – and nobody else will care.
It’s not about merit, professionalism, or quality. It is about faith, belief, conviction, courage, and meaning. Because the brutal reality of today’s brand new world is this: If you don’t stand for something you’re dead; it’s just a question of when.
Raj Sisodia reports [in his book Firms of Endearment: How World-Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose] how companies who put purpose and passion at the heart of what they do are blowing away the S&P 500 averages when it comes to their performance.
In his study, Firms of Endearment grow collectively at a rate of a little over 1000% in 10 years, whereas the Standard & Poor 500 grew 122%. Furthermore, Firms of Endearment outperformed Good to Great firms [from Jim Collins’ book Good To Great] between 150 to 1000%.
And the magic ingredient for today’s most successful companies? Bringing love, joy, authenticity, empathy, and soulfulness into their businesses, and not just focusing on making a profit.
Branding is simple. But that doesn’t mean easy. There is an art to discovering the authentic purpose and passion that is at the heart of your company.
There’s also an art to bringing your brand to life, both on the inside as well as the outside of your company. Because at the end of the day your brand is what you DO, not just what you say.
A clearly articulated and authentic brand is the most powerful way to shift the attitudes and behavior of your people and customers, shift your performance, and shift your world.
Amen to that 🙂