Is your brand steering your company in the right direction? (Take this simple assessment quiz to find out)

By Jerry Shrair

Imagine for a moment that you are the captain of a battleship or a luxury cruise liner. Standing on the bridge to embark on your mission or cruise you set your course with confidence that the ship and the crew and the fuel and the navigation will indeed take you to your destination.

But what if your ship’s compass is not calibrated perfectly? What if your ship’s compass if taking you just slightly off course, maybe by only one simple degree?

At first you might not notice any problem at all. But after you’ve been under way for a while your ship will drift more and more off course. If you haven’t identified the problem with your compass you will continue to drift, wasting precious fuel and time and putting your mission and your leadership seriously at risk.

Now I’d like to invite you to think of your company’s brand as your business compass. To everyone in your extended organization your company’s brand might seem to be perfectly calibrated. No one notices a drifting off course.

But if your company’s brand compass is even slightly off you are, in fact, wasting precious fuel, precious opportunity and precious time drifting off course. And to make matters worse you are giving your competition the time, and opportunity, to win the hearts and minds of your current and prospective customers.

So I invite you to take this very simple Brand Assessment Quiz (try to separate what you believe and hope to be the answers from what you really know are the answers – no wishful thinking, please).

Quiz Question #1 Have we properly and completely developed our brand?

-Have we identified our “core strategic target”, that is, the group(s) that is essential for creating a profitable and enduring business?

-Have we gathered fresh and actionable insights about this target group? What do they need? What do they want? How do they perceive our competition and us?

-Have we created three core, high levels promises about our business that this target group will perceive as being believable, compelling and differentiated from the competition? (Remember, this is not features and benefits)

Quiz Question #2 Are we activating our brand promises at every customer touch point?

-Have we identified every single place and time that we are coming into contact with our target audience?

-Are we delivering on our stated customer promises at each of these touch points?

-Are we consistent in delivering on our brand promises?

-Do we quickly identify any and all shortfalls in the delivery of our promises and fix them as soon as possible?

–Have we set up metrics and measurement tools to track customer perception of our promises? (Believable?, Compelling? and Differentiated?)

Quiz Question #3.  Are we creating a culture of brand championship?

-Does everyone in the company understand who the core target is?

-Does everyone in the company understand what the core promises that the company is making to the target?

-Does everyone in the company understand their particular role in delivering these promises?

-Does everyone in the company understand the particular job performance metrics that they will be measured and rewarded on?

-Does each and every partner, supplier and vendor involved with our company understand, and live up to in their actions, all of the above?

Scoring:

If you have deeply understood each of the three quiz questions and answered them honestly (not what you believe but what you know) then you get a gold star.

-If you accept the simple logic of these questions and you are determined to find the real answers then you get a silver star.

-If you believe that this brand theory, approach and recommended questions do not somehow apply to you or your business then go directly to jail and do not collect $200. – You are seriously off course.

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Jerry Shrair is founder & CEO of Inventive Problem Solving