Why Invest In Your Brand Right Now
Written by Alex Jimenez
If the last 18 months have taught us anything, it’s that the access to technology and, more importantly, connectivity allowed many of us to continue functioning even when the outside world was in chaos. The positive outcome of the technology revolution we’ve been a part of over the past 25 years was that the world did not “stop” when COVID-19 disrupted our sense of normal.
While the shift most of us made (sweatpants at work, never-ending Zoom calls) will likely change a bit over the coming year, the reality is a broader, connected world of work is upon us. There is amazing potential around this evolved world of work—for employees and businesses alike. Talent is no longer geographically limited, nor is the potential for your business.
The connected workplace is, in many ways, the great equalizer. Relationships can be cultivated across borders in places you never imagined doing business. Employees can be hired regardless of their physical location, so the best talent is at your fingertips. These, among other benefits, are there for the taking, but in order to maximize the benefits of this new world of work, you are going to need to invest in your brand—and now is likely the right time.
Let’s explore three main reasons why.
We are entering a period of growth—economically, culturally, and professionally. Historically, every downturn leads to an upswing. In today’s world, these shifts are more pronounced and move much more rapidly than they did even a decade ago. While the remainder of 2021 may be somewhat volatile, it is better to evaluate your brand, its goals, and future opportunities, and to document your “brand gaps.”
You may not be capable of investing in closing every gap, but creating a roadmap, prioritizing them, and putting a plan into motion will kickstart the process. A brand audit is a great place to start. As we stated above, the new world of work is the great equalizer, and you may not be able to lean on your past success as much as you could a year ago. We need to look forward to tomorrow, not dwell on yesterday.
There is amazing talent in the marketplace, but the marketplace has gotten smaller, not bigger. The ability for talent to move around professionally has become somewhat easier, and in the new world of work, this will become more and more evident. For you to attract and retain the best, you need to communicate the best about you. And there, culture trumps all.
Let’s say you know you have a great employee culture, with great leadership, outstanding work/life balance, industry-leading benefits, etc. Yet you’re struggling to attract the talent you need to be successful and grow. Are you telling the right story? Does your brand appeal to the talent in the marketplace? It is going to become more challenging to attract the right people, and you will only be successful if both the visual and storytelling presence of your brand is aligned with the talent of today.
Your brand is your culture. You might think that sounds lofty and idyllic, but it’s never been more important to make that a reality. Reimagining your brand for today (the “What”) not only has growth implications for your organization but, of equal importance, also provides an opportunity to reassess the type of organization you want to be (the “Why”). Let’s face it—over time, the culture of any organization can become monotonous, stale, almost routine in nature. The reasons you exist, and the importance of that existence, is critical to communicate—inwardly as well as outwardly. Once a firm understanding of the “Why” permeates through your culture, it will inform decision making, actions, and, in the end, results. This will be felt across your organization, and by extension, the clients you support. Your culture will then be another pillar of your brand ecosystem.
The world of work is an evolving place. Individuals evolve, groups evolve, priorities evolve. Making sure every nook and cranny of your organization can get behind the “Evolved Why” is critical to succeeding with the “Redefined What.” Reminding your team of the shiny objects or uncovering new ones will reinvigorate them, providing the momentum and excitement to propel your brand into the future.
These are just three examples of why now is the right time to invest in your brand. The new world of work is already moving fast—you can either stand by and see what happens (potentially getting left behind and needing to claw your way back if possible) or start moving forward at the same pace. Is your brand ready for the ride?