When I used to work in a corporate management role we used to joke about having to be the brand police.
It was a time when access to computers meant people could use clip art, and various pieces of software to tinker around with the organisation’s brand.
They would embellish it here and there for their project or piece of work.
It drove the brand managers nuts.
And for those that liked to tinker, they saw those managers as control freaks, soul-less corporate leaders who were the equivalent of ‘thought police’ dictating templates, logo placement and the way the brand was articulate.
That was the early 2000s. We’ve all moved on aeons since then, even though it is just a decade, a blip in time.
But you know, I think this issue is still alive.
How do you ensure your brand is consistent? But at the same time enable your people, your staff , your employees to contribute to it?
Smart organisations are getting their head around this.
They engage with employees, and have them reflect the brand creatively through their stories and experiences. But to be clear, they are NOT saying: Help yourself to the logo, the vision, the business strategies. They are ensuring that their vision and brand has depth, so that everyone can see themselves reflected in it. But they ARE saying
Visions and brands that are built on powerful metaphors do that.
It is all about strategy articulation and strategy execution.
To be articulated well a strategy has to be inclusive. You cannot silo the organisations stories to the PR and Marketing department and the executive team.
Everyone has a story to tell.
And those stories have to be about the challenges as well as the wins. No Spin. No gloom and doom. Telling it like it is.