In the seventeen years that I have been consulting with organizations on brand strategy, I occasionally run into a client who wants to conduct a branding project but who does not want to call it a branding project. “Why?” you might ask. Here are the reasons:
- We have had bad experiences with previous branding projects so the word “brand” leaves a bad taste in our executives’ mouths.
- We are a health care system and we don’t want people thinking of us as a cold-hearted business that brands itself, but rather as a group of physicians who care about their patients.
- We are a not-for-profit organization. Any business buzzword or activity is not well received by our managers.
- We are a religious denomination. Should religions be branding themselves?
The solution is simple. We conduct a branding project but never call it a branding project. What do we call it instead?
- We are helping you determine your promise, that is, what you will promise to your patients.
- We are helping you discover your unique purpose in the world. That is, how you will uniquely add value to the world.
- We are helping you to discover your organization’s raison d'être, that is, its reason for existing.
In fact, that is what a brand strategy project is all about. Who are we? What do we stand for? Why should people care? How do we add value to our customer’s lives? What is the unique value that we bring to the world? Why would people choose us over the competition?
I wish you great success in determining your raison d'être!
By the way, our branding projects never leave a bad taste in executives’ mouths.