Everybody on the planet knows by now that your brand is not your logo, a set of graphics and messaging. Those are great tools for communicating your brand position. But words and pictures pale in comparison to behaviour.
Recently, I was reminded of that by our postal carrier. It happened one day when, instead of mail in the box, she left us this note:
At some point in the past 10 years, after our offices had expanded to include the entire second floor, the unused box attached to ours had come unlocked, and there was no key for it. Our conscientious carrier had been delivering our mail through the kindness of her heart, and now the brass was coming down heavy. In fact, the following day, a mysterious camo-dressed man came to the front desk, slapped down the day’s mail and said “No more delivery until it’s secure!”
The fix was easy: drill a hole through the door and secure it with a special bolt. And while doing that I noticed the old nametag in our mailbox. I slipped it out for a closer inspection and saw that it was a piece of card stock torn from the red project folders we use. The ink was faded, as was the card itself. It was at least 10 years old, perhaps (gulp) more. Clearly, it was intended as a stopgap. And then forgotten as being unimportant.
Our brand promise is “Branding on purpose” because we are all about intentionality and being clear about where we are heading strategically and creatively.
At the end of the day, you want people to believe your brand promise because they have experienced it. And that comes down to reflecting your brand values in your practices, people, policies, product and place.
To those few people who ever looked at our mailbox, the message that our “place” delivered was: “We don’t really care that much” “It will do” “Hey, don’t worry about it cause we don’t…”
So in a small act of brand alignment, I secured the unlocked door and placed a proper tag in the slot. Such a small thing, to be sure, for such a small audience. But if you want the brand to live, then you need to live the brand.
Walk the talk.
Drink the kool-aid.
Eat your own dog-food.
Say what you do, then do what you say.
Choose your own epigram, just do it.