Beyond Branding



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"Beyond Branding" is written by members of The Medinge Group

Chapter summary

Transparency or Not? Brand Inside:Brand Outside

Julie Anixter

This chapter looks at the symmetry required to create organizations and teams that authentically engage the human spirit in the design of their organization's brand, identity and future. True symmetry requires that leaders (of companies, institutions, brands, projects, teams) acknowledge the one thing that most brand strategies have historically missed...that individuals cannot be co-opted -- but instead can and must be trusted to co-create the brand.

How? By beginning with the acknowledgement that each individual...employee, stakeholder, CEO, consumer, idle bystander, audience member, gets to play EQUALLY in the evolution of the brand, and is a contributor to the living theater of the brand's fullfilment through their simple caring about the value exchange the brand represents. Their actions manifest the brand. Their work demonstrates the brand. Their words are a simple litmus test (gets it/lives it, doesn't get it/doesn't live it.)

Now for the twist! Through participation in a true value exchange, the individual's talent development, future and opportunities are not only enhanced, but INTERTWINED with the values of the brand. Tight controls are trumped by the individual desire to evolve and to create meaning. This "intertwining of individual talent and the values of the brand" represents a different future for organizations and brand strategists. It challenges the notion of "internal branding" to open a bigger opportunity to the natural dance of human desire and energy from outside the orthodoxy of tightly constructed brand strategies that are policed, lock-step "be the brand" practices, laminated mission statements and all the rest of the hobgoblin of little minds.

Read more in the full book

Next Chapter: Branding for Good?