Yesterday I heard a repeat interview from last June on NPR with one of my all time favorite actors, Woody Allen. He fielded some challenging questions about his life and his work. The topic was not officially defined as a brand discussion, but as I most often do, that is how I related to the dialogue. Anytime people are talking about identity, they are discussing brand.
Allen was asked about whether or not he cared what people thought of his personal life, especially in terms of his marriage to a much younger woman, who was the adopted daughter of his ex-wife. Allen handled the question quite well. He indicated that he did not think anyone should live their life by what the outside world thought. If one did, he believed one's life would then be inauthentic.
That is an interesting perspective that organizations can and should think about too. I often hear pundits say that a brand is defined by your customers. Like Allen, I believe that if you let the outside world define your brand, your organization will not be authentic. The organization needs to define itself based on its mission and core values. Should internal and external audiences be a part of the process? Absolutely. But when the organization understands itself will it have the opportunity to recruit and retain the right brand champions.
Does your organization, or do you, let others define your brand?
Rex WhismanBrand Champions Blog