I recently came across a Smithsonian blog post that decoded the spray-painted hieroglyphics we commonly see on our roads.
The color coded system was developed after a tragedy occurred when construction workers accidentally cut through a petroleum pipe line in 1976. Each color corresponds to a different underground service.
Below the surface of your brand, there’s a complex business at work. Much like the various services which we trod over every day without realizing, components of the business behind your brand are often little fiefdoms that may be working at cross-purposes when it comes to coherent brand building.
”The left hand doesn’t always know what the right hand is doing” – and suddenly, ooops, a key relationship is lost.
”Everyone’s fighting for the same customer with a different story” – and suddenly, ooops, a valued prospect walks away.
”We must do it this way, regardless of what that people think” – and suddenly, ooops, valuable employees leave your company.
When there’s a significant gap between brand promises and reality, things explode.
When there’s a confusing babble generated by representatives of your brand, things get messy.
When there’s employees pitted against each other and demeaning policies, procedures and practices, things get inhumane.
It took a tragedy to get the disparate utilities to embrace a common purpose and form a common language across disciplines.
What will it take for your brand to do the same?