My purpose for selecting the title of this blog article was not only to share some thoughts that are extremely relevant in this “attention” economy, but also to clearly remind myself and the TransForm team of the critical importance of consistency as we build our corporate and personal brands.
It has been almost three months since our last blog posting and that is too long! Our excuse is that we have been busy and, fortunately, continue to be so. However, consistently delivering value to customers or clients, along with consistency of communication, is the hallmark of all strong brands.
In any organization, everyone needs to participate in that consistency. Every point of contact makes an impression on the customer. Enduring customer relationships are the result of the attitudes and behaviors of all employees whose actions build or diminish a company’s brand.
The commitment to consistency, however, must be modeled by the leadership of the organization. That is why I began this article with a “mea culpa.” Leaders need to embody the brand. To both employees and customers, a leader’s actions demonstrate whether or not the organization is committed to keeping its promises.
So, the question to be answered first and foremost by an organization’s leadership is: How do we ensure consistency? The answer lies in how the organization is aligned and to what it is aligned. What is the common purpose that people are working toward and processes need to support? No matter how an organization articulates its purpose, the customer must be the focus and beneficiary. Customers make everything possible: profits, jobs, benefits – yes, everything!
Now, what if a lack of consistency has weakened your brand or a specific event or situation has severely damaged your reputation? Can you rebound? Yes, albeit it is a process that requires patience and the complete dedication to re-building your brand one impression at a time. After all, what has been destroyed is trust.
In a previous blog I wrote about Toyota and Tiger Woods. At the time Toyota’s reputation for quality was severely damaged and Tiger was immersed in his personal scandal. Today, trust is still an issue for many people in both of these examples, but clearly the “brands” are becoming stronger as evidenced in the return of customers, sponsors and the support of fans.
As in all endeavors, there is an underlying force that drives the commitment to consistency. That force is the desire by leaders and individuals to play the game at the highest level whether that is the great game of business or the game of life. Is it worth the effort? That is a question only you can answer. However, strong brands are in great demand and, if you commit to doing the work, you will reap enormous dividends.