Resolve Your Brand’s Identity Crisis Before It Is Too Late

One of your biggest challenges as a business leader is making sure everyone is aligned around your brand’s fundamental values. Your genius ideas mean nothing if no one can agree on how to seamlessly implement them. This is especially true when decision makers question your brand’s values. Your brand will spin into an identity crisis if no one agrees on what your organization stands for.

 

When organizations grow, internal communication might become secondary to other day-to-day tasks. In fact, according to the “Communication Barriers in the Modern Workplace” report, forty-four percent of respondents claimed that poor communication in the workplace resulted in delayed or incomplete projects. No company is immune to these communication breakdowns.

 

Disagreements about your brand’s identity have far-reaching consequences. After a series of major controversies, Uber hired its first marketing chief to synthesize its global marketing teams. Facilitating and guiding internal dialogue is the first step to telling a consistent brand story.

 

My company had a client who hired a brilliant developer to help the brand get into the mobile space. While the developer had groundbreaking ideas, none of them were compatible with the company’s long-term business strategy. Thankfully, everyone got back on track before it was too late.

 

These examples prove that keeping everyone on the same page is an absolute necessity when scaling. After all, if your team has conflicting views on the value that your product or service provides, what are the chances that decision makers are aligned? Quick answer: extremely slim.

 

If siloed departments and discrepancies about what your brand brings to the table are common, now is the time to consider the following strategies:

 

1. Implement quarterly strategic planning. Relying solely on an annual strategy is a death sentence. Instead, try reassessing your strategy every quarter. Devote these meetings to hearing from all department leaders. Compare each person’s ideas with the road map you set at the beginning of the year, and consider where the market is headed. Doing so will ensure you send a relevant, consistent message to your audience.

 

2. Create a 360-degree view of your customer. The only way to make practical decisions about your brand’s value is to know the customer. That means developing a multidimensional perspective of your target customer. Dig into your customer touchpoints to pull together data, including purchase history, behavioral tendencies, and customer preferences.

 

Many big-name brands have developed a deep understand of their customers, making it table stakes. Netflix uses an algorithm to decide which images will best catch viewers’ attention. Follow suit by leveraging customer data platforms such as mParticle, which seamlessly consolidates siloed data for clients, including Spotify, JetBlue, and Overstock, to improve personalization for users.

 

3. Enhance internal communication. There might not be a formula for perfecting internal communication, but providing incentives to your teams can help. Sit down with your HR leaders and brainstorm creative strategies to incorporate into every layer of the organization. One strategy involves encouraging employees to present projects that embody your organization’s values and further its mission. It might take time to find the right approach, but once you do, generating a cohesive brand story becomes feasible.

 

Every organization can lose sight of its goals at some point. Your team’s disagreement is just a byproduct of running a business. Fortunately, the fact that you are reading this means you have identified the problem. Now is the time to develop a plan of action before decision makers jump ship to a brand with more consistent values.

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Christine Alemany is the CEO at Trailblaze Growth Advisors. She has a passion for helping early- to midstage companies grow and scale. Christine has more than 18 years of experience reinvigorating brands, building demand generation programs, and launching products for startups and Fortune 500 companies. In addition to her work at TBGA, she advises startups through Columbia Business School's Entrepreneurial Sounding Board and is a teaching fellow at the NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Center.