When branding starts with why

When branding starts with why

I read Simon Sinek’s latest book, Find Your Why, as soon it came off the press. From the opening line, “Fulfillment is a right and not a privilege” I have underlined, highlighted and written notes all over its pages.

The sentence “Not only did discovering my why renew my passion, it gave me a filter to make better decisions”, is highlighted, underlined and has a large asterisks beside it.

Because this is exactly what it’s like.

Every decision I make, every workshop I agree to, each collaborator I work with and each event I am involved with has to pass my why test: will this inspire hearts and minds to possibility?

It’s not rocket science. But it’s often ignored. If your heart’s not in it, neither is your creativity, commitment, or productivity. And when you nail what your purpose, your driver, your motivation is, and you live it, amazing things start to happen.

In 2016 I ended up on a private tour of Zappos. Zappos’ WHY is to deliver wow, and that’s exactly what I experienced. The KPIs were written on the whiteboards of each call centre: did our customers speak to a human being in under 20 seconds? How many thank you cards have been sent out? How many gifts did you give away today? It might be stating the obvious, but there were no limits on the lengths of the calls taken and number of calls logged as part of the KPIs.

Zappos’ branding is everywhere: all over their walls, in the playgrounds and lounges of their décor, in the smiles and hellos of their staff, and in the way they dress and speak. Everything screams brand. Everything is on purpose.

And their bottom line keeps going up. Coincidence? No way.

On Thursday 2 November, Richard Sauerman, better known as The Brand Guy, will be in the Hunter, speaking at the Hunter’s inaugural Brand Summit. Richard is ranked number three in the World’s Top 30 Brand Professionals for 2017, so he will have some pretty impressive information to divulge.

“I believe that brand is a management issue, not a marketing concept, and everything can and must be driven by and aligned to your brand. Strategy; your business strategy, your products and services, your culture, your people, your market place positioning, as well as your communications,” Richard said.

And he’s proven the concept, successfully using this model to brand big companies such as QBE, CSIRO, Mortgage Choice, and the Breast Cancer Institute of Australia.

Joining in the conversation is Dr Sarah Pearson, Pro Vice Chancellor, Industry Engagement and Innovation at the University of Newcastle. Dr Pearson visited Boston as part of Microsoft’s Joined Up Innovation Report in 2015 to investigate Boston’s success in building an innovation-based economy. In the words of then Managing Director, Microsoft Australia, Pip Marlow, “The secret sauce… is a sense of higher purpose – creating innovations and businesses that can change how the world works – and a culture of collaboration”.

Michael McKeown is the Sales Director of Carlton & United Breweries in QLD and has developed both Carlton Dry and Great Northern, the two fastest growing beer brands in Australia. There is always a story and Michael will be telling his.

Jennifer Peace is the Managing Director of Enigma in Sydney. Her specialties include business and marketing strategic leadership, branding and unpicking the CX conundrum. And isn’t Customer Xperience at the heart of all branding?

Branding with purpose is helping businesses and organisations cut through the 33,000 to 66,000 messages we are reportedly subjected to daily. There is a business out there offering what you need and want. How do they brand out enough so you can find them?

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