Brand Questions That Have No Right to Go Away
In the evolution of a brand there is a constantly shifting horizon on which the brand moves toward.
The company grows, audiences change, teams progress, competition moves in, products evolve and markets shift. These are all constant givens in the ever-changing landscape of a brand.
However, a brand must have its own true north from which it navigates this uncharted territory.
This true north is a company’s own self-defined markers for its reasons for being and ultimate measure of success and destination. These elements are the foundation on which a brand is built—and from which it evolves.
Enduring brand questions
With this in mind, there is a series of questions that we, as brand stewards must continually ask and answer.
An “enduring question” is one that does not have an easy answer, reframes your marketplace and position, is only answered by looking deeply at your organization and has no right to go away.
These questions shape your brand image, define your product and drive the company forward into new places.
“Enduring questions” are courageous questions. They lead the company into possibilities that you likely haven’t considered. They are inspirational and aspirational. They come from paying very close attention to both, what your company stands for and where your company stands.
An “enduring question” can, and we believe should, be asked and answered continually by the brand stewards and organizational leaders.
What is your purpose?
- Beyond making money in business, why does your brand exist?
- Why will it continue the company forward?
- How does it define success, again beyond money?
- Is your purpose today the same, or has it evolved over time?
- Is it time to update the language that articulates your purpose?
- Are you on the road to achieving your purpose? How do you know?
What do you most value?
- What are the core beliefs within the organization that define how you will work together, treat one another and your customers and operate from?
- What are your brand’s non-negotiables?
- From what foundational beliefs do you make your most critical decisions?
- Are they operationalized within your organization?
- Do your people consistently live up to these values? Emulate them?
- What are the storied examples of these values in action?
Are you living up to your brand purpose, values and promise?
The first two above questions should be clearly answered in the incubation stages of brand creation, and then consistently revisited as the brand launches, grows and evolves.
Measure of success
A constant measurement of a brand’s success is to ask whether or not it is fulfilling its self-defined purpose and if it is delivering on its stated promise to customers. An annual or semi-annual review of this by the leadership team is strongly encouraged.
At Mth Degree, our strategic work often involves working with business leaders and brand stewards to help navigate uncharted waters and come to ground with meaningful, purposeful and actionable brand platforms.
Steve can help you create an integrated belief-driven business that can reach and align with more of the right people —employees, customers, donors and investors—in a sustainable and meaningful way.