For some organisations and some people, the mere mention of the need for a brand strategy strikes fear.
The core objection seems to focus on the perception that brand is only relevant to commercial entities that need to sell to consumers. This logic means, for example, that Government departments or Government Trading Enterprises don’t need to worry about their brand because they have no need to sell anything.
I believe that thinking is wrong and dangerous.
The notion of brand is ultimately about how people attach value to an organisation – most critically personal value and relevance. If I don’t perceive your organisation offers me any value, your rationale for existence is immediately under threat.
Thus, senior decision makers in government will restrict funding or even completely shutdown any agency or program that isn’t perceived to be of value.
And here is the thing. It is not about value – it is about perceived value. If we lived in a world where every decision by governments, investors and customers was based on an absolute understanding of the facts, things would be different. We don’t. We live in a world where all of us, especially consumers and voters, are largely driven by perceptions of value. (If you like: perception of the facts rather than absolute truth.)
So if you don’t have a brand strategy designed to help maintain a perception of value, then you don’t have a future.