__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 29

FOCUS

Shutterstock

branding is a process that “imbues companies with personalities… A company with a soul becomes relatable”. But there is the potential for significant disconnects between attempts to humanize a brand’s personality and how the company operates day-to-day. Minimizing those disconnects requires more than slick marketing. The organization must be deeply connected through a myriad of formal and informal relationships that are observed, felt, and shaped by people within. Commanding and controlling the various reputation levers is impractical. The market owns control: leaders can only influence, not coerce or attempt to control, outcomes, by building strong networks of influencers. The organization’s brand and people’s experience

People from top brands exude branding in everything they do

29

with it, both inside the organization and outside, must be synonymous.

Brand inside = brand outside

It is critical to recognise that brand inside = brand outside. How you treat employees influences how they represent the brand which, in turn, impacts market perceptions. Rigid, topdown brand control is replaced by the bottomup flexibility to tailor the brand’s core principles to local conditions and social norms, recognizing that any misalignment risks a disconnect that can harm reputation. Internal/external misalignments are not the only branding risk, of course. Misunderstanding and miscommunicating to a local market can quickly create a damaging backlash. The examples, unfortunately, are legion. In 2018 Heineken ran a TV commercial showing a bartender sliding a beer to a lighter skinned customer, passing three darker skinned people as it slid past, with the tag line ‘Sometimes, lighter is better’. Understandably, this ad stirred outrage and charges of racism. Q4 2019 Dialogue

Profile for LID Business Media

Dialogue Q4 2019  

Today’s global economy is shaped more by businesses than by nation states: by the goods and services they provide, the networks and supply c...

Dialogue Q4 2019  

Today’s global economy is shaped more by businesses than by nation states: by the goods and services they provide, the networks and supply c...