Engaging stakeholders is fundamental to building a successful brand, from employees and board members to new customers and loyal brand lovers. A key part of engagement is crafting a strong brand personality, which requires building perception from the ‘outside in’ and reputation from the ‘inside out’. To do this you need to be clear about your brand promise and your theme and how it connects and builds a bridge to the desires of your stakeholder community, both internal and external.
Quite often, people look at mission, vision, values but forget (or don’t know) how to turn these assets on and activate them; it isn’t always easy to see the importance of theme-based behaviours. Many see these behaviours as the soft investment in culture branding. These could be yearly, monthly or quarterly but always need to be clear and internal stakeholder created and driven. Brand behaviours are not always imposed, they often come from within the brand culture and are connected to a brand promise, which is where the permission for personality is born and is cultivated.
So how do you bring these three assets (vision, mission, values) to life and connect them to your internal and external stakeholders? And what is a brand promise and theme?
Brand promise & theme
Between mission and vision there needs to be a brand theme, something that is actually used to activate and bring those two strategic components to life. This theme is used as inspiration to innovate behaviour processes and culture to align with brand personality. Between mission and values is your brand promise, which is used to connect ‘who’ you are and the promise you make to your market in a way that creates positive disruption. A strong brand promise must also be measurable and meaningful, as it will also underpin your ‘why’ and value to stakeholders.
A brand promise and theme are critical to making vision, mission and values live within a business and are key to creating a strong brand, starting with internal stakeholders.
A strong brand promise will more effectively create stakeholder engagement internally. By being clear about your brand’s passions and connecting it to collective values, it will help ignite internal stakeholders and create a shared success and drive innovation from within your business.
Now looking at external stakeholder relationships, the same thing goes. Desire exists in the market for product, service, for some kind of delivered outcome. People go to businesses because they need something, want something or are looking for something. If your brand is clearly expressing that you have it, love it and want to give it, then you will have a very fruitful relationship.
This market desire isn’t created, it already exists. The key is to express a passion that is aligned to that desire; the better the alignment and the more direct the connection, the more successful the stakeholder relationship will be.
If a brand can understand and connect to the true voice of their stakeholder group, then they will be more able to connect that to their brand promise and theme, to build a bridge from the brand to the desires of their external stakeholder community.
Relevancy is key
Both internal and external stakeholder relationships are driven by the same thing – relevancy. Being clear around your mission, vision and values is very important because people connect to people, and organisations are built by people. Relevancy around your brand promise and theme ignites and activates behaviours that are deployed across social media assets, corporate collateral, web, and drives the connection points of awareness, relationship and profile.
Each year your brand theme might change as market and stakeholder desires change, but your core values, mission and vision remain the same. This will ensure your brand is consistent and connected to your passions and philosophy but is adapting and growing with your business, industry and customers.
With over 30 year’s experience we are experts in building brands, and we know how to craft a brand promise, theme and strategy that will create a lasting connection with a range of stakeholder profiles. Contact us to find out how we can elevate your brand to engage with every one of your stakeholders.