There is a conventional or traditional way of perceiving what a brand is.
Most believe it to be a logo, a tagline or an image. Different people will provide you with their own definitions of a brand or the process of branding. Others will provide you with different reasons for its importance or sustainability.
What many don’t see is the depth to which a brand reaches within the organization and its publics.
Intent Identity Strategy
I come from the school of thought that believes a brand should be tightly and intrinsically tied to an organization’s core business objectives.
Many forget that in today’s saturated marketplace, which is exacerbated by difficult economic times, the importance of defining an organization’s true intent, identity and strategy is at an all time high.
As an organization or as an individual there needs to be a focus on intent, a connection and an experience that is tied to your bottom line.
However, defining your intent, identity and strategy is not a one-off tactic. Rather, it is a gradual and at times organic process that requires a different way of thinking.
There are many ways of achieving this, but with social media’s impact on a brand and its ongoing strategy, there is a need to redefine how an organization embraces this medium.
Socialize The Enterprise
Many organizations use social media – some better than others.
It’s a tool that has redefined the corporate communications structure. Social media is an innovative tool that is a real-time branding vehicle – always on and always open.
But instead of the conventional structure of a centralized social media team, why not integrate this medium across an organization – involving your entire company from the top down?
By encouraging, teaching and regulating the use of social media within the workplace an organization’s brand can expand its reach and presence. For instance, Dell revolutionized how social media was used across its brand.
Dell employees are encouraged to take part in social media by listening and engaging with their publics. What they have essentially done is create 3,300 brand ambassadors, internally.
Think for a moment if your company included senior managers, executives and intermediate associates in its ongoing social media strategy.
Picture how the company’s overall brand would be perceived. Social Media provides a human element behind the brand identity. It connects with people in new and ever-changing ways. Isn’t that how it should be?
What this translates to is a far-reaching, humanized and integrated strategy that provides companies like Dell with the ability to increase engagement, insight and participation.
Risks And Regulation
Much can be learned from Dell’s company-wide social media strategy. It highlights the opportunities that can be created if employees within an organization are involved in social media – from the top down and the bottom up.
However, it is important to understand that this practice needs to be regulated and that employees acknowledge and respect that content is tied to the corporate brand indirectly.
There are risks to this type of program, but there are also significant benefits. Success and benefits necessitate a certain level of risk. This is the common cost-benefit situation that social media thrives on.
Most notable is the fact that instead of people building a relationship with the overarching corporate brand, a social brand strategy offers the opportunity to build humanized relationships with employees themselves in numerous capacities. This in turn increases positive engagement, trust and brand loyalty.
What do you think the risks are with this type of strategy and do you think it’s for all companies to explore?