Which came first, the brand or the business? That’s a trick question. Because in Denise Lee Yohn’s new book, What Great Brands Do, brand and business are one in the same.
So if you asked me, “What is a brand?” …and I wanted to be clever, I could say “your business is your brand.” At which point you might smack me, so I’ll use the definition from What Great Brands Do: The brand is the central organizing and operating idea of the business. And according to Yohn;
“Your brand is what your company does and how you do it. Your brand is not what you say you are; it’s what you do.”
Throughout the annals of marketing history, perhaps the single biggest challenge for marketers has been to convince businesses to accept the concept of a brand. Why is this such a tough task?
Well, first, because It requires us to have a central organizing and operating idea! And that central idea cannot be “I sell this wonderful product with all these great features and benefits at a price lower than my competition, delivered by wonderful people who provide great service.”
But just what is that idea and how does it affect your business? One great example from the book is that of Pampers, the disposable diaper business. In the late 90’s Pampers was rapidly losing market share with a product focus on their technologically superior diaper. It was all about the dryness (benefit). But mothers were concerned about their baby’s health and development. Of course, diapers should be dry. Duh!
So Pampers reorganized around the central idea of babies’ well being and development. With that decision they became a great brand and shifted their focus from dryness, to delighting moms and enhancing their babies’ development. Instead of dryness, now Pampers was all about comfort, potty training and a good night’s sleep. That’s the power of a central organizing idea.
And when you have clearly uncovered yours, you take the central idea and build an internal culture around it, then, as Yohn says, “operationalize” your brand. Which means…
Operationalize Your Brand: using your brand as a guide and compass for all activities of your core business operations.
From internal culture to the customer’s experience, your brand permeates everything.
“When you can’t see any daylight between what you believe, what you practice, what you offer, and what you say about yourself, you are doing what great brands do.”
~ Denise Lee Yohn
Ok, great, there’s the theory, but where’s the practice? It’s in the book, step by step accompanied by helpful tools. And you’re in luck, I managed to grab the author to explain how it works, take a listen to the audiocast below and then check out Denise Lee Yohn’s What Great Brands Do.
Press the play button below and listen to Denise Lee Yohn describe how to do what great brands do.
More on What Great Brands Do from these blogs:
Jackie Huba Q&A with Denise Lee Yohn
Phil Gerbyshak with the Secret of What Great Brands Do
The Idea Sandbox: Great Brands Aren’t Display Cakes
Brand Autopsy: What Great Brands Do