Developing a brand that customers can connect with, celebrate, and persuade their friends to use is a marathon. Since your brand is reflection of everything you do over and over day in and day out, it's easy to fall off the wagon. Here's eight bad habits that will crush your brand development efforts.
Bad Habit #1: Not Starting at the Top
A good brand builder starts at the top with the CEO. If not, any efforts that don't start in the C-suite will be made in vain — "If it didn't come from the boss, it must not be important."
Bad Habit #2: Not Aligning All Departments Behind the Brand.
If the marketing department has drunk the Koolaid but customer service has not, you have a major problem on your hands. You can have thousands of dollars spent on an ad campaign that could be completely undone by one bad CSR. Get the employees in your organization on the same page.
Bad Habit #3: Throwing Money at the Problem.
Increasing marketing dollars won't improve your brand. Money just amplifies the story you are telling. Make sure it reflects your uniqueness.
Bad Habit #4: Not Empowering Every Employee to Champion the Brand.
As I mentioned in #3, all of your employees need to be aware and pulling in the same direction — then get out of the way. Over time, employees will go from "hearing" the CEO talk about the brand
, to believing in the brand
, to then living the brand
. At the moment that happens, you'll have something really special on your hands!
Bad Habit #5: Not Rewarding Brand-Driven Performance
When the brand wins, your employees win! Your employees ARE your brand. Rewarding your employees for a job well done is the best way to keep your brand growing in a positive way.
Bad Habit #6: No Tracking
All of your brand development efforts should be measured in some way. Decide what goals are meaningful to realizing your business objectives. This could be any number of metrics including a rise in brand preference, brand satisfaction, or brand relevance — just to name a few.
Bad Habit #7: Hiring for Hard Skills Instead of Brand Skills
Many applicants can appear to have the technical skills to do their job, but do they know and understand "why" they are doing their job. Are they aware of "how" they are doing their job? Employees that live the brand and portray a positive image for your company are, in most cases, more valuable than someone who is merely capable of performing.
Bad Habit #8: Letting business as usual get in the way of brand efforts.
We're all busy. Life happens. Things seem to pop up and we take our eye off the ball. These moments are not interruptions in our brand development plan, they are opportunities to put that plan to use! Difficult clients, broken processes, employee turnover are all chances to make giant strides in building your brand from the inside out.
Working on building your brand? Let me know, what's your bad habit?