We discussed Taylor Swift's potentially big branding mistake, the importance of establishing a strong foundation, and in a companion article, the seven essential questions that show you how to build a strong brand foundation. Now, we're back, with even more tangible and nitty-gritty details so you can put measurement tools in place to maintain this foundation.
We Want to Help You Avoid Brandslaughter
In his book Preventing Brandslaughter, author David Corbin talks in-depth about how businesses fall short when they fail to preserve, support, and grow their brand asset value. Remember, your brand is an asset that is either appreciating or depreciating.
"The brand, as a tangible expression of a top performing culture, comes to life when its elements - including the mission - are taken off the wall and put into daily action at all levels and through all individuals in the organization."
ABI: The First Measurement Formula You Need
This occurs, and is measured through, what David calls "ABI" - the Audit of Brand Integrity. Brand Integrity is when your external efforts and internal efforts match. When how you define your brand to the world matches what your employees do to support your brand, you will have achieved brand integrity. In other words, are you living your brand? Does it all match up? Or are you committing brandslaughter?
Brand Integrity is not something businesses just get. This is where ABI comes into the picture. You will have to work on this by regularly auditing, identifying areas that need improvement, and fixing those areas. This is the process of proactive growth. Brand is bigger than your marketing department or your color palette.
TBD + ABI = PBS
Stick with me here and let's break this down.
TBD: Think. Be. Do.
+ ABI: Audit Brand Integrity
= PBS: Prevent Brand Slaughter
This is the ultimate formula for maintaining your strong brand foundation. Remember, you don't need to tell people who you are, you have to BE who you are, and when your actions (external) match the being (internal), brand integrity is yours.
If/When You Get Off Track, There's A Formula For That Too
At this point, I have to wonder if there's anything David hasn't thought of in this process of brand preservation. Case In Point: Face It. Follow It. Fix it. This is David's formula for getting back on track quickly and efficiently.
A lot of business consultants will tell you not to focus or give attention to the problems. David gives an example of this in real life by pointing out that when he was a tad overweight he just avoided mirrors. Out of sight, out of mind should never be your formula for business anything. Instead, you should face, follow, and then fix whatever has you off track.
And if you aren't sure whether or not you're off track, David suggests you stop and look honestly at where you are in business. You can do this by asking more questions with brutal honesty:
What does your enterprise require?
What can you deliver?
Where are you efficient and effective?
Where are you mediocre?
Where are you awful?
Business Isn't Easy
And easy isn't rewarding. You are in charge of establishing and maintaining the foundation that is imperative to your success and growth. Your brand integrity should be something you audit regularly, and with the formulas David so graciously shared with us, implemented as well. If you are serious about entrepreneurship, these are steps you cannot afford to skip over.