Graphic design and marketing companies spend a great deal of time and clients’ money creating powerful brands. We listen to you and help to identify the values you want to project and promote. Careful selection of fonts, colours and copy are used to generate the perfect image for your business. Yet the fate of your brand lies more with your organisation, personnel and procedures than it does with the initial branding exercise.
For decades Volkswagen was a byword for honest, reliable vehicle manufacture. When you bought a Volkswagen, you bought into the idea of sturdy, workmanlike products, designed to high standards. Generations of car buyers trusted the Volkswagen brand. It was eco friendly, safe and secure. Yet it took just a few weeks of damning headlines to undermine all that work. When Volkswagen cheated on emission tests and fooled buyers into driving cars that polluted the very air we breathe, they also polluted their brand. Buyers, who were prepared to pay a premium to own a Volkswagen were betrayed, when the company betrayed its own values. It will take a long, long time to rebuild the trust and loyalty, so easily and cheaply destroyed.
The name Rolls Royce conjured images of success, power, superb engineering and sheer luxury. It was the ultimate status symbol. Heads of state and oil rich sheiks were in thrall to the Spirit of Ecstasy, who graced the bonnet of their ego friendly, chauffer driven dream machines. The association with aircraft engines enhanced the Rolls Royce brand, until rumours of corruption took the shine off that coveted hood ornament. Now with calls for Sir Simon Robertson, who chaired the engineering giant from 2005 to 2013, to be stripped of his knighthood, the name Rolls Royce is forever linked to bribery and corruption.
The moral of the story is simple. Regardless of how beautiful, creative and powerful your brand, it is the behaviour of your team that will ultimately drive your business to success or failure. The values and aspirations of your organisation must be carried through in every client interaction. Poor customer service, abuse of supply chain, or just plain cheating will undermine all your attempts to create a reputation for excellence. Marketing professionals often speak of ‘mind share’, but it is the content of that mind share that will influence buying decisions. We can help you make your mark, but you alone can make that mark mean something – for good or ill.