Beliefs are a fundamental element for inside-out brand building. Essentially they language, both verbally and visually, the core emotional principles upon which a brand can be built. The beliefs are profound statements that speak to the potential within the idea that will become, or could be refreshed to become, a differentiated and sustainable brand. They are created by litigating the ideas with and in the people who are most deeply invested in the brand. Often it is just the founder or CEO, sometimes it is a whole senior management team, and in others the work will also include employees, customers, vendors and shareholders.
The core questions that start the work are, “What business are you really in?” and “What is this idea really all about?” A part of our philosophy comes from design thinking and the philosophy of design in which you can only design who you, so who are you? The work of brand building speaks to the need to align who you are with what you do, because, over time, what will be discovered is that an enterprise cannot do a brand to anyone, it can only move brand through people, and that is done human to human through value alignment.
Once the litigation of the ideas has been completed there will be common threads of the most meaningful thoughts and feelings, as well as facts of course, and our work then is to craft these ideas into some deeply passionate and intentionally emotional statements in the form of paragraphs, which we call Beliefs. At the same time we connect the written language to some visual metaphors to bring an even greater sense of connection to the work. We then present the work as a draft Belief Book to our clients.
We have found over the years that the work in Belief Books has had a permanent impact on our client brands. It does so because the work informs everything that unfolds from this point, and over a long period of time, such as the creation of values that turn the beliefs into actions, the marketing journey and brand playbook, brand experience development, employee recruitment and retention, distributed wealth expansion through franchise, vendor, distributor networks and brand reputation and brand health management. It anchors everyone to the Why of brand, enabling the brand to now move forward on the What and How that will turn ideas into reality, yet remaining always secured to the element which brought everyone around the table in the first place.