In today's fast-paced and crowded business landscape, standing out from the competition has become more challenging than ever. Clutter is everywhere. It's hard for folks to know where to focus.
As a business leader, you're constantly navigating through this sea of noise and striving to make a lasting impact on your customers and employees. In this blog post, we'll explore a potent tool that can help you cut through the noise and make a significant mark on your organisation: the Big Brand Idea.
Defining the Big Brand Idea
Before diving into the intricacies of the Big Brand Idea, let's clarify what we mean by "brand." Your brand is not just a logo or a catchy tagline; it's the meaning people attach to your organisation and its offerings.
"Branding," on the other hand, is the management of that meaning. It's the intentional effort to shape how your brand is perceived. Understanding these fundamentals is crucial because they lay the foundation for the Big Brand Idea.
So, what exactly is a Big Brand Idea? It's the distilled essence of why your brand exists, encapsulating your purpose, vision, and mission into a simple, relevant, and emotionally resonant concept. It's the reason your brand is attractive to its audience, a rallying cry, and a flag that your brand proudly waves. It's simple. It's memorable. It cuts through the noise.
Ideally a Big Brand Idea:
👉 Is simply expressed
👉 Is shared by ideal customers
👉 Is shared by ideal employees
👉 Is social
👉 Is beyond making money
👉 Is bigger than a goal
👉 Is evidenced in the products and services the brand provides
👉 Is a call to action
Why Your Business Needs a Big Idea
Now that we've defined the Big Brand Idea let's delve into why it's a game-changer for your business. As a business leader, you may be wondering why it's worth investing time and effort into this concept. Here are some compelling reasons:
In any organisation, alignment is crucial. When your team is united around a common Big Brand Idea, it becomes a guiding star, ensuring everyone is on the same page about what you're doing and why. It helps them make micro and macro decisions. It also aligns them with why customers will be attracted to your brand.
A Big Brand Idea brings clarity to your organisation's purpose. It answers the fundamental question of why you exist beyond making money. When everyone understands this, it becomes easier to make decisions in alignment with your core values.
Simplicity is often underestimated in business. A Big Brand Idea simplifies complex concepts, making them more understandable, memorable, and actionable. It helps with understanding, recall, and decision-making.
4. Enhancing Communications & Experiences
Your brand communicates with your audience in various ways, from marketing messages to customer experiences. A Big Brand Idea enhances these interactions by providing a consistent and compelling narrative that resonates with your audience. Use it to build out ways to consistently show up for your audiences.
5. Attracting & Retaining Customers and Employees
A strong Big Brand Idea not only attracts customers but also retains them. People are drawn to brands that stand for something meaningful. Use your Big Idea to create valuable experiences for your customers. The same principle applies to employees; they're more likely to stay engaged when they feel connected to a greater purpose. Use your Big Brand Idea in your Employer Branding and your EVP.
6. Building Culture
Culture is at the heart of any successful organisation. A Big Brand Idea becomes an integral part of your company's culture, shaping how employees work and interact with each other. If you get your leaders and people managers to ensure initiatives ladder into your Big Brand Idea you'll find your culture is stronger for it because people understand the relevance of what they are doing.
7. Stimulating Innovation
Innovation thrives when there's a clear sense of purpose. Your Big Brand Idea can inspire your team to think creatively and find new solutions that align with your brand's essence.
Well known examples of Big Ideas would include:
✅ Amazon "Be Earth’s most customer-centric company”
✅ Air BnB "Belong Anywhere”
✅ Tesla “Accelerate the World's Transition to Sustainable Energy”
✅ Apple "Think Different”
✅ Nike "Just Do It”
✅ Google "Organize the World's Information”
✅ The North Face "Never Stop Exploring”
✅ Ikea “Create a better everyday life”
NOTE: I appreciate these are global brands. If you wanted some more B2B style Big Ideas for smaller businesses message me and I'd be happy to share examples from some of my work.
Discovering Your Big Idea
Now that you understand why a Big Brand Idea is essential, let's explore how to discover it. It's not an arbitrary concept; it's grounded in deep insights into your business and your audience.
Insights are the key to uncovering your Big Brand Idea because they will ground it in reality. They involve the ability to perceive clearly or deeply, gaining a penetrating understanding of your business, your customers, and your competition.
Ask yourself (and ideally your actual top customers) questions like:
👉 Why do customers buy from you?
👉 What do they want?
👉 How do they differ from you?
👉 Why do employees join and stay?
👉 Why did your business start in the first place?
Consider external factors such as your competitors, the category you operate in, and what your customers want. Your Big Brand Idea should align with these factors while also differentiating your brand.
To discover your Big Brand Idea amongst your leadership, take your insights and compare them with the ambitions of your leadership. Get your leaders in a room. Run some workshops. Get them to co-create together.
Ask your leaders these questions:
👉 Why does our brand exist beyond making money
👉 Who do we exist to serve?
👉 How should your brand show up?
👉 What is your offering and promise to your customers?
Your Big Brand Idea should answer the "WHY" and connect it to the "HOW" and "WHAT" of your business.
Activating Your Big Idea
Now that you've discovered your Big Brand Idea, it's time to activate it. This is where the rubber meets the road, and your idea starts shaping your brand's identity.
1. Alignment within Teams
Imagine a symphony where each instrument plays a different tune; the result would be chaos. Similarly, without alignment around your Big Brand Idea, your organization can become disjointed and unfocused. When your team is united behind this idea, everyone knows the tune, and harmony prevails. Make sure you launch your Big Idea to your people in an emotional and powerful way.
2. Documented Plans
Typical business plans are essential, but they often lack a unifying element. Your Big Brand Idea should be embedded in all your documented plans, from your commercial strategy to your people strategy. It guides these plans, making sure they're all playing to the same tune. Ensure your roadmap and company goals for the next 12 months are rooted in the Big Idea. This will help bring alignment and inspiration to your people.
Your Big Brand Idea should consistently and coherently be used in your communications. Both internally and externally. Use it to fuel your demand generation activity and communication strategies.
4. Customer Journey
Visualise your customer journey and consider how your Big Brand Idea can be illustrated at every touchpoint. From awareness to advocacy, your idea should be present, creating a cohesive and memorable experience.
Conclusion - Lead with Brand!
As a business leader, your role is to guide your organisation toward success. The Big Brand Idea is your compass, your North Star, and your beacon in the storm of business. It unites your team, clarifies your purpose, simplifies complex decisions, and enhances your interactions with customers and employees.
Unlocking the power of your Big Brand Idea is not just a strategic move; it's a transformational one. It shapes your culture, drives innovation, and ultimately, leads your organization to stand out in a crowded marketplace. So, embrace your Big Brand Idea, and watch your business soar to new heights.
I wish you all the very best. You've got this.