Your brand has to come to life. It needs to be someone.
It’s hard for many business professionals to think of a business as we think of humans. Is your business a real, living and breathing thing? I like to think that it is. There are issues with this thinking… like legally (why do we incorporate our companies? If you don’t know do some research, it’s a very interesting tale). In short, an incorporated company is, basically, an artificial human from a legal perspective. We can do better than that! Beyond the legality, the people who work in that incorporation are humans, and we need to “feel” like we’re all taking part in something bigger (every single day) that matters… that does more (and lives on) than the sum of its parts (or how long we work there). We want our work to matter… no matter the job. This contribution to the brand’s success is critical to our own personal happiness, and to having a positive outlook on life today… and for our future. This is why we try to humanize business as much as possible, and – when things go wrong – why we tend to step back and lay blame on things like “policy” or the “way things are done around here.” We are complex beasts.
Your brand may not be an actual human being but it could act like one, and leverage our specific human organs as a roadmap for better business.
When we think of building a brand, we have to make it personal… more human… more personal. It doesn’t work any other way. One of the easier ways to adopt this kind of thinking, is to break it down by the specific organs that your brand will need to nurture, care and grow:
- Brain. How does the brand think? How does it solve your consumer’s problems? How does it handle questions? What kind of problem solving tools does it have? Think about the brain of your brand. It may sound absurd, but can you write down (bullet-point or paragraph form) how your brand thinks, solves, deals and grows?
- Heart. How does your brand beat? How does your brand feel? How does it deal with the emotions? How does it inspire? How does it care (for the team and for the consumers)? What does it truly stand for and believe in? What makes the brand feel love, nurtured, angry, emotional? If you don’t know the heart of your brand, it might be fair to say that you haven’t clearly defined why anyone would buy from you (or tell someone else about how great you are). How does brand pump blood into the rest of the organism?
- Lungs. How does your brand breathe in the marketplace? What does it feel like… inhale… exhale… How does it keep going? How does it speed up? Slow down? Maintain its pace? Ensure that things keep moving forward and are stable? Is it a sprinter? Can it handle a marathon? What is its capacity to expand when needed?
These are your critical brand organs.
It’s a little too easy these days to pound out a vision, define a culture, and drive a mission statement. But the brand (please don’t call it a business) does need to be its own organism. Don’t dismiss the power of your brand’s brain, heart and lungs. What is the brain, heart and lungs of your organization? You want your brand to have a long and healthy life, don’t you?
The organs of your brand are way more important than the origin of you brand. Don’t mix the two up.