“Authentic brands don’t emerge from marketing cubicles or advertising agencies. They emanate from everything the company does…”
― Howard Schultz, Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time
“Everything the company does.”
Your approach to meetings. Your training process. Your packaging. Your office decor. Your hiring. Your conversations.
Your choices in all areas are what determines your authenticity as a brand. Not simply your marketing choices. As we rush headlong into the holiday season, I’ve been thinking about this idea a lot. What could I do for a holiday gift that makes sense with who we are as a company? We’ve never been good at the end-of-the-year-customer-gift thing. But, the packages that we sent to a group of our customers were very “us” and rolled out of here late yesterday afternoon. Next week’s post will let you know what we did and highlight the product we used.
Find a way to remind yourself for the next week or two to take five seconds before each task you do. Ask yourself, “Does this task/project/meeting/conversation/product really align with who we are as a a company and a brand?” This should be a natural part of the way we process decisions. But, it’s so very easy to get sidetracked into projects, responsibilities and processes that really don’t reflect our values, even if they are a positive thing. Then ruthlessly make the changes required to make that answer “yes” every time.
The way to build brand authenticity is to know what you stand for and then stand for it. Bit by bit. Small decision by small decision. Every day.