Grow Your Business Through Your Brand Ideal

By Kristi Burns

dateWed, Aug 15, 2012 @ 08:19 AM

In his latest book, marketing guru and author Jim Stengel speaks to the relationship of high ideals and maximum growth, noting that the two are inseparable.

In addition to Jim’s own work supporting the link between marketing and growth, he has studied over Book_Grow50,000 brands, leading him to the conclusion that phenomenal growth is directly correlated with very specific brand ideals.  

Brand ideals are directly linked to an organization's purpose (reason for being), and Jim found in his study that getting both employees and customers to rally behind an ideal of improving people’s lives is a powerful catalytic mechanism (Jim Collins) for growth.

In his book Grow, Jim identifies 5 key things that effective leaders do well to drive growth:

  1. Discover and drive a brand ideal with a theme of improving lives that focuses on one of the five areas of fundamental values: Eliciting Joy, Enabling Connection, Inspiriting Exploration, Evoking Pride, and Impacting Society.  
  2. Clearly and consistently communicate their brand ideal in a way that engages both customers and employees. 
  3. Instill an internal culture centered on their brand ideal.  
  4. Provide an ideal (or near-ideal) customer experience. 
  5. Monitor and assess success and people against their brand ideal. 

Stengel asserts that leaders capable of creating a high growth organization continually ask some very specific and very powerful questions:

  • How well do we understand those people most important to our future success? 
  • What does our organization and brand stand for? 
  • What do we WANT “us” and our brand to stand for? 
  • Are we bringing the answers to these questions to life? How? 

In Grow, Jim relates the brand ideal concept to a tree with a powerful description that focuses on the core ideology:

“The organic quality of the Ideal Tree goes beyond metaphor. It implicitly identifies all the people who are important to the future of a business and their relationships. Its roots, trunk, branches, and leaves capture the dynamic flow of all the elements that must work in harmony for a business to flourish, both those that are internal to a business (and hence almost always invisible to customers) and those that are or become external, such as communication strategies, products, and services. Finally, the Ideal Tree graphically situates the business in a market ecosystem of customers, employees, and competitors.”

Do you have a Brand Ideal that is connected to your Core Purpose as a company?  How have you used this to drive growth in your business?



Kristi Burns


Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images