This post wraps up the series of posters from my new book, What Great Brands Do: The Seven Brand-Building Principles That Separate the Best from the Rest — Great Brands Do “Brand As Business.” This brand-as-business management approach is ultimately what distinguishes great brands from merely good ones.
The brand-as-business management approach involves using your brand to drive your culture, company operations, and customer experiences. With brand as business, your brand is the central organizing and operating idea of your business — indeed, it is your business.
Brand as business creates real business value:
- It exposes new growth opportunities by reframing what business the company is really in. The brand-as-business approach reveals new frontiers for innovation and fresh perspectives on expansion, mergers, and acquisitions opportunities by defining your business by the value you create instead of a specific product or offering. Consider how Zappos‘ identity as “a service company that happens to sell shoes” has produced an operating model flexible enough to embrace a broad range of products beyond shoes.
- It shapes business objectives and strategies by providing a singular focus for understanding your current performance and prioritizing possible new directions. Disparate groups draw upon that shared understanding to quickly and easily determine what needs to be done to achieve a stronger competitive position and work together to seize it. Consider how Virgin leaders use the organizations’ values as a filter for determining which businesses to get into.
- It creates unified, focused, and integrated teams by shaping employee recruiting, training, development, and compensation and reward programs. When you’ve got the right people working in the right culture on the right things, decisions are made more quickly and executed with excellence. Consider how The Container Store ensures that customers get a extraordinary experience in its stores by focusing and aligning its employees with its Foundation Principles.
Great brands use brand as business to ignite, or in some cases re-ignite, their organizations. They’ve elevated brand-building from a niche marketing activity to a management approach that is embraced and executed enterprise-wide. They know that business leaders must explicitly decide, articulate, and adopt the brand as the driver of every aspect of the business.
That’s what great brands do.