Be subversive: be vocal

>Okay, you’re almost there. You’ve scoped out situation and discovered the organization’s brand promise. You’ve identified the key decision makers and the people who play key roles within the organization. Now, it’s time to speak up.

Start living the brand so that others take notice, and watch for reactions.

Talk with other strategic thinkers – They are more likely to understand you best, and pick up on your actions to spread the story. If they don’t take notice, turn up the volume a little at a time until they do notice. Ask them what they think about your ideas. See if they are comfortable wearing the brand promise. Ask them if they can use it to make every decision. Then challenge them to start doing it!

Talk with the naysayers – These are the ones that can kill a great idea with a little whining so, when you’re talking to them, don’t push it too hard lest they start waving the warning flags. Carefully try out your ideas on them to identify hot buttons.

Talk with management – Carefully, slowly and deftly begin to use them what you learned in the last step (be observant) and the language learned in the second step (be connected) to expose them to brand warfare. Surround yourselves with other brand warriors in meetings and other opportunities to demonstrate brand ownership to your management team.

Talk about it with anybody who will listen. You don’t have to recommend an organizational name change or a completely new ad campaign; instead, discuss small operational changes on the front line can begin to make a difference. And begin living the brand yourself, and establish your personal brand at the same time. If you’re a newsletter writer, highlight positive brand management techniques. If you’re a speech writer, start introducing brand ownership language into your drafts. If you’re a sales person, practice using versions of the brand promise in your presentation. If you’re the marketing coordinator, ask how the tasks you’ve been assigned reflect the brand.

These are the baby steps, and if you do them right, you may not even get noticed right away, but you’ll begin to build a grassroots effort that makes brand the foundation of your organization.

Next up: be courageous!

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