Brand Activation

Many people view brand activation as marketing.

I differ.

Brand activation is the process of bringing your brand to life throughout your entire company, driven by the

value propositions that differentiate you from your competitors.

When your brand is activated properly, your employees will acquire a deep understanding and appreciation for your company’s mission, vision, purpose and competitive edge.

Organizational performance will improve in all those areas you need to be a leader in your industry – quality, OTD, efficiency, innovation, teamwork, accuracy, honesty, conscientiousness, safety (Do I even need an “etc.”?). These are the attributes that translate into improved customer experiences and loyalty.

[Brand: A set of distinctions (value propositions) your company owns that make a positive and noteworthy difference in the lives of your customers.]

Without a formalized brand activation strategy, a brand only exists in print, or in a digital folder somewhere on a company’s server. In other words, it’s a brand that will soon be forgotten.

So, here’s the point I want to make:

If you’re struggling to create an effective strategy for activating your brand, follow the 4-step process below.

It works.

Step 1:

If your brand was retooled more than twelve months ago, I encourage you to go back to the brand discovery process to ensure that your value propositions are still accurate, meaningful and relevant. Given rapid technological changes, your competitive position and environment, and ever-evolving customer buying criteria, the brand you created twelve months ago may not necessarily be as relevant today. (On a side note, your company should be doing annual brand reviews and updates to keep current, relevant and fresh.)

Step 2:

Organize a brand steering committee within your organization to drive your brand forward (I’ll elaborate in Step 3). At minimum, the size of your steering committee will match the number of your brand’s value propositions.

Each steering committee member should ideally possess the following traits:

  • Well-respected among peers and colleagues
  • Strong leadership qualities
  • Great communication skills
  • Great problem-solving capabilities
  • Creative thinking skills with a growth mindset
  • The ability to drive change with a knack for getting things done
  • A strong desire to serve

Step 3:

Have your steering committee develop unique strategies for optimizing your value propositions to the point where each will far exceed customer expectations. For example, if one of your value propositions claims that your products have the “lowest cost of ownership” in your industry, you’ll need to articulate how and why you are able to own and promote such a lofty claim. In other words, you’ll need credible data and evidence to prove each of your claims. If any of your value propositions are more aspirational than factual, you cannot legitimately claim them until you can back them up. It’s not worth jeopardizing your integrity and reputation.

Going back to the example of manufacturing products that have the “lowest cost of ownership” in the industry, your steering committee will not only need to formally document how you have been able to successfully make this claim, but they will also need to creatively think of how you can maintain it. It’s your claim – you’ll need to continually fight to keep it and protect it. This is just one example of how to live a continuous improvement culture.

[Culture: The social construct of an organization driven by its values.]

Step 4:

As progress is being made on your value propositions, your company will need to communicate the progress company-wide through town halls, lunch-and-learns, or through whatever method(s) you use to communicate with your people.

The reason this step is so important is because it will naturally create a higher sense of pride throughout your company, and your people will see that you take your brand, and your culture, seriously.

Upticks in pride lead to deeper engagement, improved morale, and a culture of teamwork and operational excellence.

In other words, the kind of company top performers want to join.

It’s a win for everyone.

Of course, if you would like assistance with activating your brand, let’s connect