„We have to work on our brand to make it more reliable and covetous.“
Sentences like this marketer hear very often. What’s the message behind this sentence? How can companies really work on their brand? What can they work on?
As a 43 old guy I am now working in the marketing industry for more than 20 years. Many years I didn’t doubt what I’ve read or what so called experts told me. Since that day in 2010 when I saw an 18 minutes movie with Simon Sinek that changed my entire view on the marketing scenery. Today I do not believe that a website is able to increase the sales. Even the best technical mechanisms of marketing don’t do. Why not? Because it does not attract people. It’s not inspiring. And consumption today has a lot do with fun, boredom or comfort. A marketing message becomes an inspiring impact when people do think about the question WHY this product has exactly this form. And they will be attracted when they take care of WHY the company even thought about producing it. WHY did they?
Simon Sinek says it’s successful to answer this questions first:
WHY does a company do what it does? Don’t answer WHAT? Answer WHY!
It’s not on me to explain the golden circle. I can’t explain it easier, better or more motivating than Simon Sinek can. So I’ll give you the weblink to find the most valuable 18 minutes of your (marketing) life: Simon Sinek
I am convinced that afterwards you’ll see marketing, your private life and maybe the whole world in a total different way. And only if it is this way it makes sense to come back to the title of this article:
Stop working at your brand – start living it.
You can’t work on your brand to be honest. The expression is misleading in my point of view. It says: Everybody can work on it. Just work. It’s as wrong as the statement that everybody can have a job if he really want’s to. It sounds like a formula. And none does challenge it. Neither did I in the past. But today I do. You already have realize that some people can’t have a job – even if they want to. That‘ the same with a brand. To work on it sounds to be enough. But wich tool do you need for this? A hammer? A saw? If you know WHY your company is existing you than will know how to act in daily business, in product, in price, in place and in promotion. And you know which instrument is the best to use. Some might say that’s working on a brand – what they probably mean is that they do live the brand and that they know what is right and what is wrong. Honestly: It’s the behavior that makes the brand.
This is my formula:
(know your) why + (correct) behavior = (strong) branding
I regularly find articles about intuition. Some of them point out that intuition is too emotional and too psychological to rely on by making an important decision. You would need more data, numbers and statistics to decide. I believe that intuitively can make a decision as precise. The reason isn’t very far to see: If you know your WHY you have to ask yourself:
Does this decision fulfill my WHY? Will it be a good example for other employees to make the best decision? And maybe you allow yourself to ask if it does feel right?
Our world has become a database which tries to tell us that everything that happens can be foreseen. And although we have made hundreds of painful experiences e.g. tsunamis, earthquakes, terrorism attacks, accidents and bankruptcies we annoyingly still believe that if we think hard enough about something we could foresee it. But we can’t. Maybe it’s because of nature. Maybe it’s so easy. Maybe too easy. The crustal plates don’t ask if they are allowed to move. So people do neither by buying a house, a car or a hammer. They simply do. Or do not. But they will ask themselves if they buy it from an emotionless brand (company) without lived values and without responsibility … or if they buy it from you.
Simon Sinek says twice to make it one of the most important points:
People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.
Nothing more to ad. Just one recommendation:
You shouldn’t work on your brand. It’s enough to live it.