Last week I was contacted, by an organisation involved in providing advisory services to entrepreneurs and business operating in the Halal industry targeting the global Muslim community, to speak at a workshop on ‘branding’. During my discussion with the organisers I realised that there was a communication gap occurring! What they meant by branding was all about logo and logo design & what I understand on the same issue, and was trying to get across to them, was all about ‘the insides of a brand’ that should be focused on in order for the branding to be engaging.
There are two extremely, critical areas, that we need to focus on when developing or making-over a brand:
- Work Culture: It’s important that time is spent on identifying the ‘way we do work’ or in other words how has the work flow processes come about; what are the key habits and behaviours that guide daily work flow and approach to tasks. Identifying the type of work culture results in knowing what is the possible brand personality that would be projected and what would be potential service level standards. This has an impact on the nuts and bolts of what the brand promise would be, how it would be provided and communicated.
- Leadership: The other important aspect to evaluate is the type of leadership the organisation has i.e. is it a mentoring or coaching style of leadership where rank & file are encouraged to contribute ideas as well as align self-development goals with that or the business goals or is it a directive and instructional style of leadership where it’s a top-down order giver syndrome?
The style and type of leadership will have a direct impact on how the brand communicates both, internally & externally. This in turn will have an effect on the respective engagement programs that marketing and human resource would have to initialize.
Branding is not just a logo and its colour and design. Branding involves strong and deep understanding of business planning & organisational development i.e. business purpose, focus market identification for growth, resource mapping, work culture, leadership styles etc; coupled with the ability to translate this information into design and effective communication.
So the next time someone comes about saying “hey, can you help us on our branding” have a chat to ask your client on the above two points. You may be pleasantly surprised at the response you get.
- Ten ingredients for embedding sustainability into leadership (theguardian.com)
- Leadership myth 1: Is leadership a rare skill (examiner.com)
- Crucial Transition in business between yesterday and Today – Part 2 (adeposiokupe.wordpress.com)