A company’s brand is how the public sees the organization; it’s the organization’s “face”. The brand answers questions from the public such as “What does this company wish to accomplish?”, “Is the company trustworthy?”, “What do they stand for?”, etc. In chapter 12 of Engage! by Brian Solis, the aspects of personality, discovery and promise are discussed when it comes to an organization’s brand.
Solis said that companies can become caught in a quick-fire approach when it comes to social media presence and that this attitude can lead the brand’s personality to weaken (Solis, 98). Just answering the public without any purpose is pointless. It’s like running around in circles instead of going forward. Just because the company seems to be moving, doesn’t mean that it is always moving in a positive way.
Solis gave 7 questions that a company should ask before each online interaction in order to help define and strengthen their brand. They are:
- What is it that we want to accomplish?
- Who are we trying to reach and why?
- How do we wish to be viewed?
- How are we contributing to the depiction of the brand?
- What do we stand for?
- What are our core values?
- How does my personal brand affect the company brand and vice versa? (Solis, 98)
To better understand the company’s brand, Solis recommends that companies assess their brands’ journey through the past, to where it is today, and, in the fullness of time, where it will reside in the future (Solis, 101).
A brand reflection cycle is a tool that Solis recommends organizations use to gauge where their brand is online (Solis, 101-103). The brand reflection cycle includes the company’s core values, pillars, promise, aspirations, brand characteristics, opportunities, culture and personality (Solis, 102). Solis recommends that the company has a team fill in this “brand map” both together and on their own so they’ll be able to see where the company’s brand is succeeding and where improvements need to be made (Solis, 103). This reflection exercise will help the company see how its brand is being perceived online.
“The brand promise should answer a simple, yet momentous question: What is our mission?” (Solis, 104). Companies need to see their “promise” as a promise to the community about what their company will accomplish or do. Solis pointed out that “this is not a marketing exercise” and “while searching for the answer, companies will discover their ambitions and commitments and rally a team of leaders around a more meaningful corporate guarantee” (Solis, 104).