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Brand Stewardship. Is It Alive In Your Company Culture?

As a customer, which we all are on almost a daily basis, have you experienced the beautiful coherence that some organizations seem to have through every step of the customer transactional process?  It’s a quite noticeable sense of trust, being taken care of, and confidence that can put you into a state of euphoria because of its rare nature.

What instills that amazing feeling, and why is it so rare?

STEWARDSHIP:
the careful and responsible management of something
entrusted to one’s care.

I love the elegance of this word. And the above definition pops into my head every time I work with clients to begin the process of inculcating and infusing their newly identified and defined Brand DNA into the organization from the inside out.  This is when those who are representing the brand, i.e. ALL EMPLOYEES, take on a mindset toward the STEWARDSHIP of it. They must fully understand, buy in, and carefully deliver on the attributes that make it distinctive and tangible. And it starts with leadership and education to all those ‘entrusted to care for the brand they work for.’

Why is it so rare? Because to get brand stewardship to come alive at the internal culture levels, the brand itself has to be identified and defined first. And most companies haven’t done the due diligence to find the clarity and create consistent training to infuse and create the awareness that lead to on-brand actions and behaviors to steward the relevant perceptions that affirm the value position of the brand.

Why the lack of clarity and consistent training? Because it is easier to justify spending time and money on external marketing efforts to get clients in the door, than to spend time and money on getting clearer on the brand value position and training our employees to walk the talk. I mean, really, doesn’t it just happen through osmosis?

The irony of all this focus on external marketing (client acquisition) is the fact that if and when your employees do become true stewards of the brand, you will be able to actually REDUCE your marketing spend, build your customer advocacy and trust, and leverage word of mouth to grow exponentially.

When your employees are enabled to ‘steward the brand’ the energy of the culture shifts to a deeper level of coherence that transfers into the customer experience – creating that magical ‘feel-good’, sincere, authentic sense of value that can become addictive to your customers.

How to foster internal brand stewardship:  Simply put; get clear.

…Clear on who you are as a brand, entity, collective, and what you promise to deliver every day. Getting clarity on your brand’s style (how you go about doing what you do), what makes you different (value position and competitive advantage), mission, vision as well as your standards of performance all play a key role in fostering the actions and behaviors that support the effigy of the brand for long-term alignment. Taking the time to identify, define, then align at the internal ‘DNA’ levels of the organization becomes the ‘secret sauce’ to evolution of the brand.

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