Any company has two faces, one rational and the other more emotional. The functional one is based on the business, on the capabilities of the employees, on the effectiveness of its products, on the suitability of its facilities… The emotional one has to do with the purpose of the company, its values, its personality, its identity, its actions, it represents the human side of the business.

Rationality is based on relevant evidence that allows easy access to satisfactory effects but is most often taken for granted, while emotionality arouses interest through feelings and persuasion.

Brands coexist continuously between the rational and emotional side of business, with all the strength that constitutes them as the main element of connection between companies and people. That is why the construction of a brand today must contemplate a completely holistic, comprehensive approach, based on a series of unavoidable pillars.

Brand Brace: Building a Brand of Integrity

Integrity is the key to brand longevity. Developing it is a way to secure its strength and shield it from its environment. Integrity implies a complete vision but also a moral integrity. It is a point of balance and consistency that brings stability, resistance and coherence to brands based on rational-emotional balance. To achieve it, you must consider the 4 B’s of branding that make up this approach: Business goals, Beliefs, Behaviours, Beauty.

1.- Business Goals

Business objectives define a roadmap that marks the way forward. All are necessary, no matter their scope. Keep in mind that overcoming small goals can help you work toward bigger goals. Goals are critical to motivating the team, fostering collaboration, and helping everyone understand what the company hopes to achieve.

They must be clearly detailed and should respond to the SMART principle (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound). To get the most out of them, you need to monitor their progress regularly and measure their performance. As you track progress toward goals, you may spot that some may no longer be relevant or achievable. That is why it is necessary to be flexible and open to adapt to each situation.

Companies can’t be built on a product, they must build on their brand or portfolio of brands. For this reason, the brand must have the ability to act as a strategic filter for business decisions. It’s clear that a brand-centric organization is an organization that thinks about the future and not just the present. Both from the point of view of corporate and product branding, where the latter must drink from the former to achieve coherence.

As you take concrete steps toward your goals, take some time to visualize what it will look like when you achieve them. You’ll see that this can have a surprisingly positive impact. When we think of a business that has had a strong impact, we are sure that we are automatically thinking of a brand.

2.- Beliefs

A brand goes far beyond a product or service. A brand is the representation of who you are and what you are for. In a changing world, where an emotional bond is created with the brands that attract us the most, it is essential that they know how to identify among their values those that make them unique. While the image projected from signs of identity and voice can help build notoriety, it is the values that are responsible for creating a brand meaning and beliefs that will achieve true engagement with its target.

A statement of beliefs, based on corporate values, can help stakeholders tremendously understand the decisions that are made. Beliefs represent a way of thinking that looks for the opportunity to make the brand better. It is something that must be shared by all departments and that motivates them to offer a common brand experience, which ultimately makes the target audience identify with the brand.

Brand beliefs are not something that changes quickly. Products can be modified, the image can be redefined, but it is much more complicated to change a belief system, insofar as it must be shared by an entire community.

To achieve sustained success, it will be necessary to have an open mind on the part of the company, which sees an opportunity to orient itself from a purpose that facilitates the generation of
shared beliefs
with the team. Let everyone understand the values that represent you so that they can integrate them into their beliefs.

3.- Behaviours

A brand is shaped by the thousands of decisions made by the people connected to it, every day, over time. If you want to consolidate your brand, consolidate your behaviors. Beyond your business strategy, long before your identity, what really matters is how you make people feel. An eye-catching logo and catchy brand message can grab a customer’s attention when they first encounter the brand. But the truth is that the way the organization behaves plays a critical role in conveying what the brand stands for.

Behaviors are tied directly to the brand. They are tangible expressions of our purpose and values. Employee experience (of which behaviors are a key area) directly affects the customer experience and therefore brand building.

Only when beliefs become part of the DNA do they then become reality through behavior. To the extent that the brand is deeply understood, it will be easier to ensure a behavior derived from what it represents, so that the alignment of its employees and the loyalty of its customers will grow. This alignment is the basis of authenticity, which represents the genuineness of your promise and the consistency of your actions and behaviors.

The goal of brand behavior is twofold: to make customers more satisfied and loyal, while creating an aligned, ambitious, and meaningful workplace that behaves in line with your brand. The challenge is to ensure that behavior is consistent, across every role, in every department, at every touchpoint, and over time.

4.- Beauty

When we experience beauty, we are overcome by a certain sense of inner peace. Having an attractive visual identity is part of the key to the success of many of the companies that have managed to stand out in the market. Despite the fact that a brand is not built only through visual resources, these constitute the very face of the brand so they must be treated as a strategic objective and not a tactical one. A good identity should be intuitive, easy to remember, flexible enough, and accurate to the brand’s DNA. Without a comprehensive and well-defined identity, your audience may not be able to understand who you are.

As it could not be otherwise, it is important to take care of and revitalize the visual identity, as well as the verbal and the set of expressions of the brand, adapting them to the changes in society. It may be difficult to control brand image, but every company can manage its identity. Therefore, it is essential to understand what the brand should stand for and communicate it in an attractive way for your market. This will ensure that positive associations are made, which can then become the perceptions that shape the brand image.

Brand image is primarily formed through direct experiences customers have with the brand. That’s why making a good impression at all touchpoints becomes a crucial factor.

It is also necessary to consider that a good brand must have something of a beauty that transcends its aesthetic components and reaches a social dimension. It’s about finding the right balance between who we are and what we represent, between our image and its perception. Beauty, in this sense, creates integrity for the organization.

Conclusion

Brands provide guidance and certainty in turbulent times. They are a great pillar of support, because today no company is safe from volatile economic circumstances, constant challenges, competitive pressure, globalization and the advance of digitalization. Companies are facing innumerable processes of change and transformation, where the brand must also assume a central position.

If the environment and society have changed enormously, it would be foolish not to open our minds regarding brand management. Brand Brace is an approach oriented towards a global vision, which proposes a particular view to guide the construction of a brand towards success.

 

Carlos Puig Falcó
CEO of Branward