I’m a fan of David Armano’s infographics, as they do a great job of visually explaining complex concepts. You can find these images here, or on David’s blog, Logic + Emotion.
This week, I found a couple of Armano’s infographics on Flickr that I felt communicated the essence of branding.
I particularly enjoy the above image because it illustrates how an organization’s vision is spread throughout the company, and how the products & services then reflect and influence the vision.
Often, I refer to the vision as the brand purpose, which is the reason the organization is in business. For a brand to be successful, this purpose must be more than aiming for high earnings. Rather, it’s an altruistic goal, which in turn motivates the organization and focuses its direction, values & culture. This then translates into consistent brand actions, which stimulates consumer trust (i.e. they know what to expect from the brand) creating loyalty and sustained demand! Therefore, earnings are an outcome of the brand purpose - not the primary focus of it.
When I saw this image, I thought it perfectly reflected my thinking on how the brand purpose works within an organization.
The purpose starts at the top, which influences the organization’s values (aka beliefs). These values are instilled within each and every member of the organization, creating a purpose infused culture. This ensures the actions taken by employees, whether through customer interactions or product innovation, brings the brand purpose to life. After all, the purpose is just words until acted upon.
The relationship between the vision and the products & services is cyclical. The vision focuses the direction of innovation for products & services ensuring they help accomplish the organization’s purpose. In addition, the products & services not only influence the market’s perceptions of the brand, but they also influence the organization’s perceptions of its purpose. Therefore, it’s essential to maintain a focused vision to create consistent brand perceptions!
An organization that does this extremely well is USAA.
USAA is a bank, investment & insurance company whose purpose is to serve those who have honorably served in the US military. They are a client of Critical Mass’, and we have the privilege to see how devoted they are to their purpose. They are truly dedicated to serving their members, and this is seen through their award-winning customer service.
But I recently came across this YouTube video, featuring three USAA employees who created a rap about their company’s mission for a recent Employee Meeting. If this doesn’t prove the astounding ability of USAA to disseminate their purpose throughout the organization and have it ingrained into the culture, I don’t know what would!