Good question. The right answer is everyone. Branding is a classic example of the saying, ‘The sum of the parts is greater than the whole.’ Look at all great products, parts, or organizations, for that matter. They are viewed in their entirety as great or, in some cases, as something less than great.
Take the F-35 Joint Stike Fighter. Most people would agree it is as good as it gets. But if you break it down, it’s just a bunch of parts. The shared vision, cohesiveness, and commitment of the team behind its development are the essence of the F-35 brand and what makes it great.
Every organization must have an individual that ultimately sets the vision and culture for the company. What is expected, what is acceptable, and most importantly, what is not. From this point on, it is a case of leading by example. Once the key tenants of the brand are communicated, they must be nurtured and never compromised. The better an organization is at living its brand culture, the stronger the brand identity will become, eventually hitting critical mass.
- Be honest. If you are setting your company’s brand culture, you better know what your team is capable of. Signing up for unwavering quality, exceptional customer service, product innovation, or other lofty promises can be a slippery slope. The basis of your brand promise should be what you do best consistently.
- Lead by example. Don’t rise above your employees, but rather be an employee yourself. Live the culture you expect others to emulate. If you can’t do this, I recommend you hand off leadership responsibility and find something else to do with your time.
- Get onboard. If you are an employee of an organization, you need to understand the company’s brand promise and be part of the solution that makes it successful. If you feel the brand tenants are not honest or not being upheld, you owe it to yourself and your employer to call it out.
A shared sense of brand ownership places everyone in the organization as an equal when it comes to maintaining the brand identity. Everyone is responsible for protecting and strengthening the company’s brand reputation.
Thanks for reading –
TCI Chief Brand Officer and Bottle Washer