View Your Brand with 20/20 Vision

Posted on January 7, 2019 by cPR

What is a brand?

For consumers, it’s a perceived promise that a company has made to them. For CEOs, it’s their company’s reputation. It’s also their company’s most valued asset.

Fulfilling that promise (consumer) by actively managing a brand’s reputation covers many facets. It’s the people that are hired and how they live the brand once on board.

VisionIt’s the products and services that are created and how they’re marketed, sold, delivered, serviced and priced. It’s the relationships with vendors, distributors and the communities in which the company operates.

In the end, brands aren’t something merely to be directed but rather something to be created—something to be produced consciously, purposefully, strategically.

The stakes are high and the vision for a company’s future must be clear—20/20 clear.

Successful CEOs look at the big picture by viewing their brand’s current reputation while setting their sights for a dozen years from now. Check your vision with an objective reputational audit and establish a plan for achieving the desired brand by the year 2021.

Try beginning with a piece of paper, the belief that “What gets written gets done” and a long, realistic look at the past, present and future. Identify potential gaps between your core competencies and the opinions of others—or, in other words, seek to separate fact from fiction, strengths from weaknesses. People, product, pricing, partners. All influence and impact your reputation. Seek input from all sources that directly portray the brand and your reputation to key stakeholders, such as professionals in sales, customer service, human resources and even shipping.

Only after arming yourself with such knowledge can you begin the process of orchestrating all elements of your company toward a harmonious goal: creating a powerful and lasting brand.

Brands built around the cornerstone of a company’s reputation that delivers upon a consumer promise are not done so by gimmicky taglines or fanciful paid media.

Reputations are earned not granted. They’re shaped through reality not bestowed through awards. That said, they must be articulated. They absolutely require communications that are clear, consistent and ongoing to all stakeholders. Employees. Vendors. Investors. Customers.

At the heart of a reputation is credibility. If a key stakeholder believes and trusts in a brand’s or corporate’s reputation, they’ll view it favorably, endorse it and act upon it in a positive manner.

One of the disciplines frequently tapped by CEOs to manage the branding process is that of public relations. Paul Holmes, editor of Reputation Management and Inside PR magazine says, “In this environment, public relations …is evolving from the publicity function that it has been at most organizations to a more sophisticated discipline that is responsible for managing an organization’s reputation, the sum of its relationships.”

Not all public relations firms, however, are equipped for such a challenge.

Branding exercises and long-term strategies are no time for on-the-job training. Only those with first-hand experience performing audits, interpreting results and orchestrating strategic communications campaigns based on these results should be considered. The stakes are simply too high.

Brand clarity. Credible corporate reputation. Delivering on a customer promise. Creating and managing your company’s biggest asset – your brand – can be accomplished through 20/20 vision.