“The five separate fingers are five independent units. Close them and the fist multiplies strength. This is organization.” – James Cash Penney
I remember my first day at my past employer MD On-Line. I was so excited to work for a tech company that was seen as a pioneer in the healthcare tech/SaaS space/B2B. I knew what I was in for: the job description was on point. And I reported directly to the CEO—so exciting! Then, on my first day, I found out that the rest of management was away at the HIMSS Conference for the week. The team I had inherited was excited for leadership and came to my office saying, “we feel so bad, no one is here…how do you know what to do?” In my mind, perfect way to start.
I knew exactly what to do—I went into “discovery mode.” I started talking to people around the company. Asking questions. Hearing about their respective day-to-days. MD On-Line had made a few acquisitions prior to me joining the company. And guess what—everyone spoke as if they worked for a different company than the ONE I just joined! So were we on the same team? This disjointedness bugged me to no end. While there was clearly immense pride in respective businesses and responsibilities, there was a thread missing that knitted this quilt of culture together: the broader brand strategy—the umbrella—the master brand and architecture.
The Organized Brand was born out of this and other past experiences working on products and services for a range of brands: from Garnier and L’Oreal to MasterCard’s Priceless campaign to The New York Jets and MD On-Line. While different industries, the common theme for sustained success was a clear brand strategy – i.e. “the north star with laser focused vision” that was measured regularly.
I often hear from businesses in similar positions as the companies I’ve worked for. “We need marketing help and don’t know exactly where to start as we launch our new product or service.” Or, “my business has grown quickly in the past year and everything is starting to feel disjointed.” Or, “we’ve been a niche player, and now have funding and ops to expand—marketing has to follow.” My advice is to start at the foundation i.e. set or review the groundwork for your brand. Make sure your positioning has evolved with the marketplace and your company’s growth.
True customer feedback and market place intelligence are key elements to start with. Is your vision and mission reflective of where you want to go, and how you are measuring up? What do you stand for, and how is your offering truly unique? And why should your customers—or prospects—continue to believe this?
This is just for starters—I’ll continue to share my wisdom and insights on all the components of an Organized Brand and to help you get your brand in alignment with your business goals. If you need help sooner, leave me a message or drop me a line. I would love to hear from you.