Is your brand doing what it says it will do? No matter what is happening in the world around it, does your brand have a response plan in place? Is it listening? Is it always doing the best it can? Spring has sprung. We begin to grow plants and gardens. Perhaps your brand could benefit from a little personal growth.
The Four Agreements, a book by Don Miguel Ruiz, is his most famous and influential work. It was published in 1997 and has sold around 4 million copies.It was featured on Oprah, in “O, The Oprah Magazine”, and Ruiz was recently on the OWN network.
These agreements apply to brands. These agreements are simple. We LOVE simple.
1. Be impeccable with your word.
In order to be impeccable with our brand’s word, we need to know the kinds of things our brand would say. To start, we author the creative brief:
We paint the big picture: the context and world in which our brand is living. We understand what makes our target tick. We uncover their emotional trigger, which tells us the motivation. We identify the promise, the one thing we can deliver. We take a blend of values together and define the brand. This leads us to our organizing concept, those few words that capture the essence of the brand.
If everything your brand says nods to the motivation, delivers the promise, and is consistent with the organizing concept, your brand is following the first agreement.
2. Don’t take anything personally.
There is a fine line between listening to your customers and the idea that ‘whatever happens around you, do not take it personally’.
On one hand, brands cannot “tune out” – they need to listen to their customers and have two-way communication.
On the other hand, negative events that impact our brands are unavoidable. We can’t just ignore it. Smart brands have a plan. Months in advance they prepare how to address negative comments or events that could have negative impact. When such events happen, boom, there your brand is with poise and grace to respond.
When your brand is proactive, it can deliver on its promise in the face of whatever is happening around it.
3. Don’t make assumptions.
When marketers don’t make assumptions, it means they are asking questions and listening.
Asking questions and listening help us understand the world in which our brand is living and the needs of our customers.
4. Always do your best.
One day a brand can make a mistake. One day a natural disaster or other event outside of our control can impact the success of our brand. The best brands learn from mistakes, roll with the punches, and move forward with solutions.
Strong brands know that their best is different from one day to the next, and always do their best in a constantly changing environment.