Clients have suggested over the years, a number of reasons why they engage us to help them rebrand. Some, particularly those that bootstrapped their business, will say that they’ve reached a point where it needs structure, a strategic brand, something to resonate its purpose. Others have found that their brand has unravelled, as thread by thread, individual departments have inadvertently pulled it apart. And, of course, there are those that simply want a fresh lick of paint, if that’s not to put too flippant a term to it.
Regardless of the business, the driver or motivation, each client commits themselves to a project spanning months of strategy, creative development and expression in building their brand and its narrative. Thankfully, the outcome is a success and everyone involved will at a later date reflect and admire the strategy, critique the creative and herald the change it created.
However, one of the less talked about outcomes from the journey is the people and team energy the branding process creates along the way. At its core, branding is about people and the relationship between them. You could broadly place them into two groups – those who believe in the brand, trust its narrative and buy into it (ie. customers with their money) and again those who believe in the brand, trust its narrative and buy into it (ie. a team with their energy). Two sides of a coin, just a different currency yet equally important.
In the Absence of Clarity
We’re often surprised at the energy in the room when we unveil brand strategy to a leadership team. Perhaps that energy is a result of finding clarity in the brand and seeing the road ahead and yet still, there might be other elements driving it. It might be easier to consider it from a situation when certain drivers are absent, as we discovered during this year’s (Covid-19) Leaving Certificate debate. Would it, could it and even should it go ahead? Students trying to remain focused as the purpose of their study effort was placed in doubt, while the absence of stakeholder alignment (ministerial, political and teaching) and a lack of clarity, conspired to pump the rumour mill. Although it’s clearly different, it does give insight to drivers and motivations. People (and teams) want to believe they have a purpose to their actions, a brand purpose in our case, and therefore they’re energised when they discover it.
By uncovering a brand at a strategic level, a leadership team has a rare opportunity to properly examine what it is they do, why they do it, who for and with what. In exploring the truth of the brand, these simple questions are teased out and challenged in more depth. The clarity created in answering them as individuals and debating their merits as a team, fosters a collaborative journey arc, resulting in team passion and shared belief.
That’s the secret gold of branding as a process though. It promotes debate, challenges convention, fosters innovation and creates alignment around a clear brand purpose. The experience of being part of it creates a team energy that becomes pure brand energy and that’s a great outcome by anyone’s standards. In fact, if Einstein didn’t mind you could write it as a simple formula, E=CAP2, energy equals clarity times alignment times purpose (squared)!
If you’re considering your next brand building move, whether that’s strategic focus or creative expression, we’re here to help.
Get in touch any time for a chat.