Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Build a Brand Bridge Between Internal & External

Branding connects people. It connects them to ideas, to experiences, to programs (or products) and to each other. Since you do have the opportunity to build your brand, be clear with your people how you intend for them to connect with the outside world. Work hard to help people within your organization understand and connect with the emotion and the message you want outside people to remember. Forget the internal, forget about the external.
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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Branding as a Daily Endeavor

You have the opportunity to build your organization’s brand every day. As a leader in your organization, you have a particular responsibility to be mindful of your words, actions and attitudes because they shape the way people around you (inside and outside the organization) respond.
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Engage Stakeholders in Your Discovery

Consider engaging your external stakeholders in your strategic discovery process. Not as a focus group, but as real-time participants. We've had great experiences inviting specific target audiences into specifically designed parts of the process. They mix in small groups with the organization's leadership, management and staff. It builds the relationship, it expands the perspective and it deepens the data from which the resulting frameworks are created.
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Monday, March 23, 2009

Three Central Values Connect to Branding

Brand development offers an interesting connection to what Viktor Frankl, an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist, named the three central values of life: the experiential, the creative and the attitudinal. Frankl defined the experiential as that which happens to us; the creative as that which we bring into existence, and the attitudinal as our response to the experiential circumstances.
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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Connectors Win

Author Dov Seidman asserts that in a connected world, individuals and organizations that make the strongest connections win.
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Friday, March 13, 2009

Gratitude + Openness + Curiosity = Happiness

New research by Todd Kashdan, associate professor of psychology at George Mason University, provides much to think about for improving your effectiveness and that of your organization. He points to gratitude as the key for happiness and further suggests that men are more challenged in feeling and expressing that gratitude. Kashdan says, "“The way that we get socialized as children affects what we do with our emotions as adults." It also affects how we interact and how we use creativity as a problem-solving tool.

For some, as we get older and more socialized, it becomes more and more challenging to spark curiosity and openly share ideas. Thus, the more we can do as organizational leaders to create safe spaces for people to rediscover those abilities, the more effective our organizations can become. The more celebration we are able to infuse into our environments, the higher the morale and the better our organization's productivity. And, the more we can do to achieve consistency in those actions, the better received they will be.
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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Engagement Might Create Brand Ambassadors

Brands are built by organizations and shaped by their stakeholders. They live in the shifting circles between control and influence, and my bias is that organizations typically maintain majority control over their brands -- even though adapting it can be like trying to turn a freightliner in a channel {possible, but only under the right circumstances}. Yet those who believe in the need have an opportunity. They can be proactive, they can explore possibilities, they can be clear about their intentions and they can engage people.

You can bring those internal stakeholders right into the process from the beginning. You can engage some of your external constituents at key moments to let them know how much you value their input and perspective on what you’re trying to do. Bring them in, engage them, get them committed to some ideas and they could become some of your most powerful brand ambassadors.
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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Build Brands by Building Bridges

When traveling through corporate America, the one department that never seems to be at a loss for people willing or eager to provide critiques is … marketing. Everyone seems to become an expert pretty quickly. There is a certain comfort level people have about sharing ideas related to marketing. They’re quick to comment about how that headline just doesn’t work for them or that pricing structure is out of whack, yet hesitant to question the revised schematic on filtration systems shuffling through their own department. It’s an interesting dilemma for most marketers. A point of frustration for some. A field of opportunity for others.

These are definitely the days for proactive, responsible marketers. For the kind of professionals who take responsibility and work to move things forward. The kind of savvy person who adds another “P” to the marketing mix by leveraging psychology. A leader who understands that building bridges inside and outside of the organization means building a stronger brand that generates better returns. Happy engaging!
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