Branding is not just for marketing anymore

Yesterday I had the honor of contributing to The Conway School’s first-ever Entrepreneurship for Ecological Designers workshop. I concluded my session with a short summary of how branding can be used as a tool for organizational learning, growth and – ultimately – transformation. One of the participants asked if I could share it. Here it is:

Branding is the art and science of using communications as a strategic tool for organization building

The only constant is change. A clear brand, understood by everyone in the organization, gives your organization a stabilizing rudder in a constantly evolving environment. It provides a “true north”.

Smart companies manage learning brands. That is, they use the process of effective communications to learn; about themselves, their customers, and the ecology of the ideascape in which they operate.

It is not a destination but a process. The process is iterative, emergent and always learning.

You are building a cathedral. There are hundreds of people involved. You may never see it completed.

Your brand is about who you are: who you serve and how you help them.

It is fundamental, not an add on. It’s not a logo or an ad campaign. It’s a central part of your company DNA.

Its value is in the synergy it unleashes; internally, with your collaborators and with your customers and members.

“Your brand isn’t what you say it is, it’s what your customer says it is.” – Marty Nuemeier

It starts with understanding who you serve, and what problems you solve for them. This is not your story, it’s your customers’. You are here to serve them on their own individual hero’s journey.

It clicks when they get it, when they can tell your story. The resonance that results is your brand.

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