In today’s world people have many choices, access to more information, and more ways to buy. This constantly changing, intense competitive landscape demands that companies value thought leadership, authenticity, and relationship building. It’s all about trust. Why should people trust you?
A company’s brand is an ecosystem co-evolving w employees, stakeholders, and customers. It goes way beyond a product or service. And, neglecting to pay attention to relationships & networks within a brand ecosystem (or any ecosystem), can lead to disastrous results.
Many companies struggle to maintain control over their reputation because they treat problems in isolation without regard for their networks or the valuable feedback they have to offer. This approach is too rigid and can restrict a brand from reaching new audiences or adapting to new markets. By staying grounded by their value structures and trusted networks, companies have the ability to embrace change and ambiguity. And, resilient brands do this best.
Stand-out brands like Apple, RedBull, and Nike are considered trustworthy because people can easily identify who they are instead of just what they do. And that’s powerful. A clear identity attracts & unifies people through all the ups and downs within a competitive market. It creates just enough of a framework to balance resilience and flexibility.
Brands rely on their identity to form and strengthen relationships, and by focusing on relationship building, they seem more relatable, more human. People relate to what companies think, stand for, and represent. Unknowingly, people actually feel connected to or compelled by the underlying value systems that define a company's brand.
A business with strong, actionable values has the power to form communities which are bound by agreement. These communities or networks come together naturally with similar agendas, values, ideas, and goals. And, they can become a company’s greatest asset.
But, in order for these naturally occurring networks to present themselves, companies must allow their character, brand, and personable side to shine through in every interaction and experience. Top brands take a systems approach to creating their identity and realize that every point of interaction matters. The goal is to "practice what you preach" through seamless experiences so that every person who interacts with the brand, both internally and externally, receives the same level of quality.