Why you should think of your brand as a cathedral
I read a great blog post recently, by a former colleague at the RSPB.
She was writing about the importance of ‘cathedral thinking’ when it comes to saving our wildlife and countryside.
It took 250 years to build York Minster. The people who conceived it, and most of those who built it, never saw the magnificent edifice that resulted from their imagination and toil. Neither did their children and grandchildren.
But they had vision and dedication. Just like the RSPB’s vision to re-create Caledonian pine forest across Scotland and restore swathes of rainforest across Sumatra. Visions require a mindset focused on future legacy. Not short term gain.
Great brands are driven by vision. And underpinned by values.
Whatever the changes to the look, the tools and the tactics used to communicate it, the essence of a brand and the promise it makes, should be consistent and enduring.
- Apple has always been about simple and innovative design that enhances people’s lives.
- Patagonia has always been about rugged, technical clothing for active outdoors people who care about the environment.
- The RSPB has always been about mobilising people’s passion to save threatened species and the special places they depend on.
To articulate the essence, personality and promise of your brand clearly and consistently, you first have to define your organisation’s vision and values. Then you need to determine your desired position in the market place. Investing the time in doing this effectively is crucial to long term success and sustainability.
If you want to build something that lasts, you have to follow the example of architects and conservationists.
You need to create a vision for the future and for your legacy. Not just for the next twelve months and your bottom line.
Otherwise you’re just another ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ organisation without passion or purpose.