Friday, February 27, 2009

To the "Next Level"

Whenever a CEO calls me in to talk about branding, I know that every conversation will be a little different, and each company leader will have his or her own interpretations of what branding means, and why it has become a top priority at that particular moment. The common thread or comment that precedes virtually every brand development assignment we undertake is, "We need to go to the next level." A decisive realization that a gap exists between where the business entity is, and where the top executive would like it to be.

Upon hearing these words, or some similar expression, I usually ask, "What does the next level mean to you?" That's where the conversation moves from the here and now to the vision of what the CEO would like his or her business to become. What I have come to realize is that brand development is really a component of business development. It's the expression - in words, visuals, and ideas - of what a company aspires to be.

My advice in this post for any CEO that is contemplating brand development or brand revitalization is this: Think about a moment in time three years from today. Write down in as much detail as possible a description of what your organizaiton will look like three years from now. Getting to "the next level" begins with this important first task. Upon doing so, in the words of Obi-Wan, "You've just taken your first step into a larger world."


Anonymous said...

Dear Ed Delia,
Great advice. I find as a marketing company it is successful when a client has developed a clear vision of their overall goals. Perhaps you might like this article I recently wrote, about how a clear marketing plan can save a company thousands when they hire outside support:
I'd be interested in your feedback on the article. Keep up the good work!