Branding is about creating an identity for a product, a company or a project. Creating a logo or having tag line for every change project with the intention to create an identity is not a strong foundation. These assets should not be viewed or used in the same way a company uses them to create an identity with a consumer or a customer. It’s important to pick something that is significant to the change initiative. A great way of creating an identity that doesn’t rely on logos or catchy tag lines is to brand towards ideas that tie to specific outcomes or objectives or to the business result you are hoping to accomplish by implementing your change initiative. An example of an outcome objective is: “Must achieve 20 million in profit by 2020”; the program then becomes the “2020” program. You essentially brand the outcome. Another great way is to brand it in the voice of the customer. How would the customer think, feel or act differently towards your business. So that “think-feel-act” difference can become a powerful identity. For example, branding with Net Promoter Scores or Customer Satisfaction metrics like: “80% of our customers are promoters” is very powerful. Another example is to brand it around how your customer would rate you and your business. This not only has an impact on employees but you could even enroll customers to get them to help you. Another methodology relies on creating an identity by telling a story or an anecdote. The idea is to personify it in some way. Every organization has that one story where someone went above and beyond the call of duty. The” Joe Smith” story where Joe on his lunch hour went to the warehouse and hand delivered a part to a customer. That personification of the story about Joe can become a rallying cry for the team or the mantra for new behavior.
Visioning should not be just a statement but rather a destination. So, instead of making a vision statement about the change, the secret sauce for a destination is about how the business would perform differently in the eyes of the customer when we get to the destination. This gives it context in terms of why we are doing this, it’s not just about us or making more money but rather it’s about serving the customer differently.
The last piece to the puzzle is that every good change program should have explicit value, which may or may not be monetary. It could be about increasing development opportunities for our people or creating better satisfaction for our customers. Those measures depend on the culture of the business but the results, the explicit value, may take on a lot of different forms. Think communicating a payoff in the end and the “why” we are doing this. Those types of values tend to be ignored in vision statements because we focus so heavily on the P&L values that we miss out on the intangible values.
Have you been involved in a change management initiative? Let us know and as always stay #TopRight.