Branding Inside Out
The gap between strategy and identity is the central challenge most organizations face when defining and articulating the complexity of their brand with simplicity.
The importance of building the brand from the inside out tends to be overlooked. Often, when people talk about brand, they are referring only to the visuals—what it looks/feels like (name, logo, website, packaging, etc…). Confusing cause and effect, they restrict brand development solely to marketing efforts and thus restrict the effect it can have on the organization.
In fact, the areas that tend to have the greatest impact on an organization tend to have little or no visual presence. These intangibles center on focus and differentiation as the core drivers for the brand. Our “Brand Spectrum” (shown above) ensures that people both inside and outside the organization can understand and relate to the brand.
- Vision: What does the future look like?
- Mission: How will you capitalize on that future?
- Position: What position must we take to fulfill our mission?
- Articulation: What story must we tell to capture the position?
- Implementation: What actions can we take to prove the story is true?
The questions above are simple. The answers are not. They are fundamental, yet often overlooked, simply because they are so simple. As organizations continue to divide strategy and identity, they cut meaning out of their brands, then wonder why consumers cut these brands out of their lives.