Modern Franchise Magazine August 2013 - Page 49

Brand is more than a collection of marketing messages or it at least it can be! A place where gaps (or often more accurately canyons and chasms) often live are in policies. I call these “someone did something once” policies. Because when I ask why that particular policy is in place the answer always starts with “well one time we had someone do X, so ever since then...” Standing back for a moment how stupid it is to penalise everyone for the actions of one person, you can see how these outlier policies create gaps. Perfectly nice and friendly companies who seem to be great to do business with become inflexible bureaucratic nightmares as quickly as you can say “return policy.” There is not easy and simple 1, 2, 3 process for avoiding the gap. It takes being deliberate and conscious about what you are doing. It takes examining the corners of your organisation for things that don’t make sense or are out of alignment. It takes really getting to understand the foundation elements that your brand is the result of. 1 Values are more than words - do you live by them? Establishing a mission is fundamental to the success of your business No brand can thrive (let alone survive) when it is put in the position of being its own worst enemy. So next time your company starts asking "what to do about the brand" it might be worth taking the well-worn advice of the London underground Mind the Gap! What are your core values? Michel Hogan Do you live them? Why does your company exist (beyond the bottom line)? What is your promise to your customers, your franchisees and to your employees? Michel Hogan is an Independent Brand Advocate dedicated to helping organisations make promises they can keep and keep the promises they make - with a strong, resilient organisation as the result. She also publishes a blog at: You can follow Michel on Twitter @michelhogan. 2 3 4 What are the truths that live between the market perception that you try with ever greater desperation to convince people is true, and the day-to-day reality? maxiom Modern Franchise Magazine | 49