On my Twitter micro blog I promised that I would twitter and blog regularly this year. I certainly don’t call it a New Year’s resolution, as I don’t believe in them. Nevertheless, by promising and then not delivering I find myself suffering a subtle, yet consistent, guilt. Guilt, I generally tell myself, is one of those pointless emotions, like shame; rooted in the past and not productive. Nevertheless, in an ‘Away From’ motivation it has served to rally me to action.
Brands are essentially promises. A promise of quality, a promise of service. And in order to live the brand, organisations have to deliver their promises. Or rather, the individuals within that organisation have to deliver their promises. Either to each other or to the customer; both are equally important.
So what does it take for us to live our promises? A set of guiding values and principles helps. However, I don’t know about you, but I find that ‘values’ is an over used word in the buzzword bingo that is often part of corporate speak. You can talk to people at length about values, but you can’t force feed them and expect behavioural changes overnight. Values are less easily translated and understood.
You can influence behaviour – through a subtle process of engineering. But values are another thing. So what about promises? How do we get employees to connect to our brand to deliver its promises consistently and willingly? The connection comes from a connection to a sense of purpose. This sense of purpose has to be deeply personal yet inspired by the vision of the leader of the organisation. Employees have to find their own sense of purpose, which might be as seemingly mundane as providing for their families to making a difference to the lives and happiness of others.
This sense of purpose, is aligned with the brand through a connection to vision and values, yet is highly personal to each employee. Yet once achieved, it gives employees greater fulfilment and happiness at work which is surely what a brand promise boils down to anyway.
Find out more about our unique approach to helping organisations live and breathe the brand at Changeworks Communications.