This past week I met with three founding, C-suite executives. I was called in to discuss the challenges they faced in building their company’s brand and business.
The Chief Operating Officer gave an overview on the marketplace, spoke about the strengths of their brand, and hypothesized that their brand was struggling in the marketplace because their advertising agency had failed to discover the right marketing communications formulae to win over prospective customers. It sounded like the days are numbered for this client-agency relationship.
To better understand their brand’s raison d’être I asked them a few questions.
I got the same kinds of answers I usually get.
“To make money of course!” two simultaneously blurted.” The third, shrugged, and asked, “What do you mean?”
I knew then that the cause of the problem was rooted with these executives, NOT their advertising agency.
Brands exist to improve lives; profits are a consequence
Successful Global Brand Leaders respond quite differently to this question.
They know that brands exist to improve lives and that revenue and profits are the consequence of achieving this goal.
When you hear these CEO’s speak about their brands and businesses you can hear their passion and conviction. They speak with such authority and zeal about their brand and business that it is just about impossible not to get caught up in their orbits, and to instantly become a member of their brand’s fan club.
are asked the same question they are unequivocal about how their brand and business improves the lives of its customers.
They tell you this in the company’s annual financial report, on the company’s website, in interviews with the press, in their public speaking engagements, and on every occasion they get to speak with their employees. Even more important– it’s impossible to hear them speak, or read the words that others write about them, without being moved by the powerful intrinsic motivation these CEO’s have for improving the lives of their customers in the way they do.
These CEO’s know “why” their brands must exist, and their actions and words are galvanized by their purpose and beliefs.
Even a cursory look inside the companies behind these brands reveals how deeply this same purpose and belief system is embedded into their organizational cultures.
You see it manifested through the strategic focus of their leadership teams and the esprit de corps and everyday actions of their employees.
The intrinsic motivation that these CEO’s have for improving the lives of their customers in ways they believe important becomes the tie that binds them and their employees to the customers they are choosing to serve who share this same worldview.
This is because customers don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. They buy more than your products and services. They buy into the purpose and beliefs of the team that stands behind your brand!
Strong brands are energized by the purpose and beliefs of their teams
My advice to the three founding C-suite executives: “Discover your purpose and beliefs and imbue this passion in the hearts and minds of your advertising agency if you want them to discover the marketing communications formulae that will win over your customers.”
“A brand is ultimately about nothing more (and nothing less) than heart. It’s about passion…what you care about. It’s about what’s inside—what’s inside you, what’s inside your company”– Tom Peters
If you enjoyed this post then you should also read the posts below which have received acclaim from readers of this blog.
 Simon Sinek, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action