I was recently asked by a client to prepare a campaign that went way beyond ambitious with regard to their brand perception in the wider market. It’s a common pitfall within the safe confines of your business enclave, to imagine that average consumers have the same steadfast beliefs in your brand as you and your colleagues hold – they don’t! Time for a bit of introspection and tricky conversations.
Some great businesses are out there doing amazing things, pushing boundaries, protecting society and striving for innovation and progress. But, remember even the most noble of ambitions needs to resonate with authenticity or you may end up achieving the exact opposite of what you intended.
In these challenging and volatile conditions it’s tempting to grab at every opportunity to showcase a new or existing endeavour. But a word of caution to the spin doctors, while you can always develop an ‘angle’ on a piece of coverage, the mob will have the final say. Regardless of whether it’s media coverage, paid advertising or internal communications, the same principles apply.
So, leaders of today and tomorrow – have the difficult conversations in the boardroom now – look into the corporate mirror and see things from a different perspective. Does what you see really align with your culture, actions, and people’s honest perceptions? Ask yourselves:-
· Can we say this?
· Are we credible?
· Are we contradicting ourselves?
· What else do we need to be open about?
I know it’s a painful process, but think of it as brand therapy, and those who are brave enough to speak up and challenge themselves internally will eventually produce the best work.