TheBrand Tattoo Test - do you believe in your own values enough to carry them with you for life?
In this blog, Insight talks to Minter Dial, a thought-leader, author, consultant and professional speaker with 16 years of executive experience at L’Oréal. Dial helps senior management teams and boards adapt to the digitally enhanced marketplace, helping to activate their brand strategies, integrate new technologies and catalyse a transformation in mindset.
- The secrets to building the foundation of successful brands
- How a business can build trust and loyalty from staff and customers
- The “Brand Tattoo Test” - why the crucial first step in empathising with customers is truly believing in your own values
- The challenge facing digital brands in building the same level of trust as bricks-and-mortar organisations
Giving customers a reason to choose your brand is a challenge for all leaders. It depends on knowing your purpose, finding a way to empathise with customers and understanding their perspective of your brand.
This is a necessary process for any business trying to understand how to improve its product offering. It’s a straightforward idea that if you can put yourself in a customer’s shoes then it helps you understand how to make the experience better for them.
Minter suggests a process he calls PIE, or Personal Internal External. It must start with a business leader being able to empathise firstly with their own team and employees, but overall, with themselves - ensuring they believe in their own brand and its values.
He puts forward a radical suggestion, that any leader should ask themselves whether they believe in themselves, their own brand and what it stands for, enough to be willing to have it tattooed onto their body. Thus, they would show they are willing to carry the association with those values permanently, even after their time with the company has ended.
If that answer is no, then how can they expect others to follow them?
According toMinter, to be a great leader, and when trying to create a culture where the people in your company believe in your brand values, you always have to look at yourself first, followed by your team - as together these are the most important people to convince that your brand is worth believing in.
The larger a company is, and especially in the technology world, the harder it becomes to encourage this culture of self-belief. The challenge of making money and profit becomes more singular when companies grow to a certain size, having to worry about shareholders, for example.
But even then, motivation for profit alone is not enough. Employees are unlikely to feel great about the organisation they work for if the aim is purely to extract every penny from potential customers, without any consideration of ethics, the wider picture and some way they’re making the world a better place.
Minter looks at common examples - such as examining whether your manufacturing is reliant on unethical labour forces. Customers can find out, and do make decisions about a brand based on this kind of information.
Or with a food brand, are your products really as healthy as you suggest they are? In that case a more accurate purpose may be creating great family experiences rather than improved health.
Marketers are never trusted to ever paint an accurate picture of a company. All consumers have a choice between brands, and while cash is king in the world of business, a company that at least tries to be transparent and sticks to its stated values always has an advantage over a company that deliberately seeks to mislead.
When a customer trusts your brand and its purpose, you can expect improved interactions with them, such as a greater willingness to share data.
Minter suggests that despite the need for both small and large businesses to ensure money keeps coming in, when it comes to the notion of purpose, pursuing profit without regard for the reason for your brand’s existence is a race to the bottom.
This is now far harder to do in the current climate, where a need for social distancing has placed greater emphasis on online commerce over bricks and mortar retail, aswell as the ongoing transition from the sale of physical goods to digital products.
Minter believes that knowing how to understand a customer’s feelings and working out how well engaged they are with your brand is one of the biggest challenges facing marketing in this modern environment.
But he suggests the answer has not dramatically changed. As before, knowing your own brand values and believing in them counts, as well as injecting some humanity and authenticity wherever you can into your organisation
Would you let your employees sing, rap, and be themselves when working, or would you insist they followed set rules and procedures in order to maintain a consistent predetermined brand image at all times? Sometimes the answer is taking a step back to allow your team to be adults and feel in control.