Saturday, March 7, 2009

What's Your Brand Personality?

When my sons were just 5 and 3, we visited a restaurant with real tablecloths. No vinyl, no plastic – just bright white fabric! To top it off, the host gave the boys paper placemats and crayons. I immediately cautioned them not to make any marks on the cloth. My oldest – a rule follower then and now – proceeded to draw carefully in the center of the placemat. My youngest – not a rule follower then or now – started outlining the placemat with his crayon, getting as close as he could to the edge without going off the paper. And he grinned up at me as he did it!

Their unique personalities were shining through. And if my sons were organizations, we would call their personalities their brands.

The Link Between Brand Personality and Employee Engagement
I could no sooner force them into a different personality mold than I could force a hospital or system to adopt a brand that is created “for” them. Brands are. Brands live within your organization.

At the Forum for Healthcare Strategists conference in Las Vegas last month, a number of marketing executives asked about getting employee “buy in” for their brand. In reality, it’s not about forcing them to “buy into” a brand. It’s about providing them the opportunity to want to support it.

If your brand has been uncoverered rather than created, your employees will feel as if they are looking in the mirror when the brand is revealed. The brand will reflect them and their understanding of the place they work.

Brand personality, then, is the key to employee engagement – striving toward a consistent brand experience, adherence to graphic standards and successful brand management. It all starts by recognizing that each organization’s brand, like every child’s personality, is special and resides within.

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