Category Archives: Branding

Success Equation of General Electric !

Since its inception GE started as an electric buzz of invention and change. And till date nothing has changed. GE’s driving force of imagination and innovation has remained the same.

The only factor that drives GE, its people, innovation, product and performance in the market is Imagination and innovation. “What we imagine, we can make happen.”

GE’s tagline is more than just a tagline; it speaks for the reason why it exists, which is instilled in all its brand touch points.

All the activities at GE are driven by a GE equation which gives a voice to its mission statement.

(Photo taken by Ed Schipul)

This equation is so creatively made that it is easy for anybody to quickly understand what GE stands for, what is important at GE, and what is its driving force and what is the core brand. It’s like just one equation tells everything, which is easy to remember and associate with.

It proclaims the success factor of GE. GE people are the sum of unceasing curiosity and relentless drive. Their imagination divided by risk multiplied by the square of their sweat, yields breakthrough ideas that make people go WOW.

Which other organization’s do you know of has a strong success factor like this?Share your thoughts here.

Advertisements

Why internal branding is crucial to success!

How we look and think of ourselves inside very much indicates how we would act outside. The same thing applies to an organization. Employees are the backbone of the organization and hence the importance of internal brand engagement cannot be ignored for the following reasons:

– Our employees are our primary audience and regular brand messengers/brand ambassadors. They can successfully pass on what they have understood. So it is very much essential that they understand the brand recipe very well to pass it on consistently and in its original form. Further the experiences and messages customers’ encounter, very much depend on their interactions with the employees (mostly company representatives/sales staff and front desk staff).

– Internal brand engagement ensures that all the stakeholders get a consistent and coherent brand message at all the points of interactions, either it is in store, website, fuel pump or a brochure. It would ensure that all the employees know the brand recipe by heart, and can deliver what it needs for the brand to succeed.

– Organizational engagement would also allow us to control the experience our customers get, at all the touch points. If the whole manpower of the company understands what the brand stands for, what it is and what they can do to make it a success, they would be inspired to come up with innovative ideas to make their brand lively. Employees, who don’t know enough about the brand, are actually putting their organization at risk.

– We tend to make mental images and judgments about a company based on the kind of response and experience we get from company staff/employees.

A great word of mouth promotion potential is untapped in internal branding. Not to forget that each and every individual of the organization is responsible for the brand success. There could be no better brand advocate for us than our employees.

For an example,here is a post about Starbucks and the effort it puts after internal branding: http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/dec2009/sb20091210_167541.htm

The vital ingredient of a brand’s recipe!

Did you ever played the game of Telephone when you were a kid?

We would sit in a circle with a group of friends, and whisper a word/phrase or sentence in neighbor’s ear and then our neighbor would pass on the message to another. And it would be passed along person to person. The last person to hear the message would speak out the message as he heard. The more twisted the message, the more fun it becomes. Misunderstanding, misinterpretations, poor communication and language barriers are expected.

Similar to this telephone game, is the game of branding. Rather it is much more serious than a game.

The difference being, one would not want the message to get garbled, scrambled or misinterpreted in any way, especially in a way that would entertain kids. Secondly the players in the branding game are considerably in a large number than in this game. They would include employees, customers, business partners, and all the stakeholders. (Don’t want to miss any player, so mentioned it as Stakeholders).Since the difference is very critical, our message has to be simple and clear to be heard, understood and passed on to all stakeholder touch points, exactly as it started.

So my whole point behind telling this story and comparing it with branding is to highlight the importance of our brand’s DNA, which is a vital ingredient of our brand’s recipe. Once we have a branding idea in our mind, we need to boil it down to a KISS (Keep it Short and Simple) message that captures the core meaning of the brand idea .Much like heating the fragrances to get a strong essence. This strong essence would become our brand’s DNA.

It should be capable to evoke images and thoughts in the minds of stakeholders for remembrance and should be clear to be understood without any help or guidance. And all our stakeholders should have a similar understanding of our brand’s DNA.

Once we have set up our brand’s DNA, then we can decide which branding signals would work the best to communicate the brand message. (TV commercial/ newspaper /social media etc).

This vital ingredient of our brand’s recipe would ensure that our brand message is clear in the minds of our stakeholders and is in sync with our brand idea, business strategy and branding signals.