Brand Marketing Insight

5 Key Steps to Brand Alignment

By Ted Curtin

Does Your Brand Fall Short?

Think of a time when you were disappointed as a child. Most likely it was simply a matter of expectations not being met. Whether it was a big deal or not, the fact is, You Remember! It's easy to make brand promises, but when your brand fails to deliver on its value proposition, you risk a potentially brand-killing problem.

Without alignment, your brand is just an empty promise. To ensure your brand delivers, you need to take a 360 degree look at your brand, your company and your corporate mission. The following 5 key steps will help guide you towards successful brand alignment.

    Brand Alignment - Ted Curtin
  1. - Top to Bottom Organizational Engagement It’s not enough for just your marketing team to carry the message of your brand to your audience. Whether you produce a product or deliver a service, your company’s leadership needs to be as committed as your customer service and operational staff.
  2. - 3-Star Employees Don’t Give 5-Star Service Treat your employees the way you want them to treat your customers. Your training needs to support your brand if you want your message to get through. In those important moments of contact, do you think a poorly treated employee is going to treat your customers any differently?
  3. - Designed to Win As important as people are to the issue of Brand Alignment, your actual organizational structure is just as critical. Even the best training can’t overcome organizational obstacles that prevent your employees from delivering on your brand’s promise. Your policies need to compliment your customer service make-up or you will have an organization that is fighting itself instead of moving forward.
    Imagine if getting printing assistance, returning a purchase, or finding a specific office product at Staples, wasn’t “Easy”. What if Best Buy’s “Geek Squad” simply shrugged when you presented them your laptop with a blue screen? From training to organizational design, these companies have successfully integrated their brand promise into their very being.
  4. - Consistent Communication Not your message per se, but in the way that your message has to consistently support the ideals and purpose of your brand. You can have multiple campaigns with different themes, but they have to stay true to your brand promise. Geico Insurance is a good example of a company with very different campaigns out in the market – From cute Geckos to, helpless Cavemen, to Eye-Balls on random stacks of money. While the messages couldn’t be more different, they all reinforce the brand promise of “a quick and easy way to save 15% or more on car insurance.”
  5. - Be a Two-Way Brand An easy way to continually monitor your company’s level of Brand Alignment is to make sure you’re listening to your customers and employees. Social media engagement and the variety of accessible channels make this process easier than ever and they’ll be the first to let you know when your product, service, or support isn’t matching up with your promise.
The process of Brand Alignment is just that - a Process. It's not hard, but it does require full organizational buy-in, a willingness to listen to your customers, and an ongoing effort to detect and correct when things may slip or the implications of an organizational change are overlooked.

The rewards and potential for increased profitability, brand engagement, and customer retention are well worth the effort!

Let Ted Curtin inspire your marketing efforts and help your company realize your brand's full potential, more fully engage your clients, and increase your profitablility. Ted Curtin is available for Speaking and Corporate Training opportunities through i-Marketing Services, Inc.

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