Use your brand when making a change

Are you considering changes to your business? Thinking about new products? New markets? New customers? 

Your brand can help make your transformation successful. Your brand isn’t just your name and logo or your message and image. Your brand is the purpose, values and attributes that define your unique identity -- it’s what you do and how you do it.

When you think about and use your brand in this way, you can make strategic changes. Your brand can serve as a compass, GPS and fuel for your running your business. Referencing Google and how its brand has guided its growth, I explain in this SmartBrief video how to use your brand to ensure you make the right changes in the right way.

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Transcript

Happy 2020! With the new year getting underway, you might be considering some changes to your business -- a new market or product line, or expanding your footprint or perhaps narrowing it. As you consider your options, I recommend you use your brand as a driving force.

When I say brand, I mean your brand identity -- what you company stands for or what you want it to be known for. As such your brand can be a helpful tool in your transformation. You can use your brand as a compass, GPS  and fuel for making strategic changes. Here’s what I mean.

When evaluating opportunities such as developing a new product or service, use your brand as a compass to point you in the right direction. Your brand should embody the overarching purpose of your business and your organization -- why you exist, what value you create in the world. It can help you evaluate a potential strategy the way Google uses its purpose, which is “to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.” This purpose helped Google’s leaders decide to expand from its original search product to Gmail, Maps, YouTube and hardware devices.

You can also use your brand as your GPS to guide you as you make strategic changes. Use your brand core values and attributes as decision-making filters as you work through your pricing and competitive positioning, customer targets and even customer experience design.

For example, Google’s core values include “Focus on the user and all else will follow” and “Great just isn’t good enough.” The company used these values on its Pixel phones, by designing them to be the gold standard for the Android customer experience.

Also, it uses these brand values in its constant drive to improve things that already work well, such as search. Google engineers are always looking for ways to making search even faster and easier and to help more people, so they developed the feature that reduces the number of keystrokes required to do a search as well as special banking and communications features designed for people in developing countries.

Your brand also can serve as fuel to power your transformation by engaging your employees and shaping your culture. You can use your brand to inspire employees to take on new responsibilities or adopt new behaviors by connecting their work to your broader purpose. You can connect employees to customers by equipping and empowering them to deliver new customer experiences that deliver on your brand promise. And you can connect employees to each other by uniting them through change with shared values and common goals.

Google connected its employees to its desire to achieve breakthrough innovations by encouraging them to spend 20% of their time to work on whatever they thought would most benefit the company. Lately, Google seems to be struggling to engage employees because some are questioning if its leaders are sticking to the company motto “do no evil” in employee relations and work with governments. But that’s actually another example of how influential your brand values can be among employees.

Your brand is more than your name, message or image -- it’s the purpose, values and attributes that define your unique identity. Use it as a powerful tool for running your business, especially when you’re considering changes.