Two secrets of brand success

Just about every CEO I meet wants their organisation to have an attractive brand.  So what’s the difference between those that succeed and those that fail?

I saw the evidence first hand today speaking to the CEO of a successful hospital group that has transformed its image from a dowdy, rundown public institution into one of the most dynamic personal care centres in the country.

Number one: The guy clearly, genuinely believes in his company’s brand promise, to provide an amazing experience for customers – both patients and medical professionals.

Number two, he clearly has succeeded in recruiting a leadership team who also sincerely believes in the brand promise and is dedicated to delivering it via the customer service.

Yes, they run ads, but the critical factor is that their brand promise is lived out every day in the way they do business and by their employees.  As he conceded, they don't always get it right, but there is no question that the company from top to bottom is aligned around a genuine belief in the need to deliver their brand promise every moment of every day.

I am not saying that it is impossible to transform a company unless the CEO and the management team truly believe in what their brand stands for and are absolutely committed to go the extra mile to make it happen.  But, without that absolute belief, we are verging on the impossible. 

Brands ultimately exist in the minds of others.  And their perception is primarily driven by what they experience of a company not just what the company says about itself.  Leadership teams need to be constantly challenged.  If they are only paying lip service to the brand promise, abandon your brand program now – genuine belief and commitment is not a “nice–to-have” – it is critical.  Any else is just a sell-out.