Retail Observer

September 2019

The Retail Observer is an industry leading magazine for INDEPENDENT RETAILERS in Major Appliances, Consumer Electronics and Home Furnishings

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Page 45 of 67

RETAILOBSERVER.COM SEPTEMBER 2019 46 I t's not a very good use of your time and resources to try to evolve your brand, only to have all of the hard work wither on the vine. And it's very easy to spoil even the best brand by overlooking the opportunity to plant the brand first inside your company's culture. While researching my upcoming book, The Beautiful Business, I found a core theme emerging: all work is human-centered. We need to put human needs at the center of our business's growth, innovation, and evolution. All the tech in the world – all of the data and all of the AI – will never change this core fact. Like people, organizations evolve from the inside out. Otherwise, "growth" will be fake – like a temporary skin, it will eventually wither and flake away. Only real, living beliefs that magnetize people's enthusiasm and energize their behavior can create real change, innovation, and outcomes. HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN? Jim Collins gives us the key in his book Good To Great, where he says, "Get the right people in the right seats on the bus, headed in the right direction." Getting our people engaged requires capturing their enthusiasm and cooperative joy. What makes people feel connected and inspired? It's a magical blend of tapping deeply held shared human beliefs and a sense of belonging. We're all looking to belong, even at work. It's why, in his book The Descent of Man, Charles Darwin mentions "survival of the fittest" just twice, and "love" a startling 95 times. Creating a culture of belonging will help your company reap the following benefits: 1. Attract and keep loyal customers. A sense of belonging builds bridges between the stories you tell and your customers' wants and needs. When customers hear you telling stories that they can identify with, they'll become fans of your brand and refer their friends and colleagues. Your company's brand will stoke their enthusiasm and they'll trust you. 2. Attract and retain the right team. A brand that's built on core human beliefs will attract people who share your values and desires. These beliefs should define your culture, so prospective employees can clearly see them and decide if your organization is in sync with their own personal values. 3. Create organizational integrity. Building your business on shared human core beliefs will give your brand a heart-level integrity, making it much easier for the brand to operate as an integrated whole. An "evolved" brand, one that's based sincerely on shared human values, will help pull together the segregated parts to the organization. 4. Gain audience mindshare and heartshare. The 2018 Edelman Earned Brand study showed that "nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of consumers around the world now buy on belief, a remarkable increase of 13 points since 2017. People's belief in brands as a force for social good provides marketers with an opportunity – and an obligation – to help their customers live their best lives." The lesson: If you want to win the marketplace, you must win people's hearts and minds. 5. Operational service guidance system. An evolved brand, a brand that's built on shared universal beliefs, naturally helps generate strong, shared operational performance standards. Such a well-integrated brand will set the tone for your operations and customer service. It will give leadership and management a guideline for adopting service standards that will help you keep your market share, fulfill your brand promise, and live your values. For the past 25 years, Steve has served as an advisor and consultant on brand strategy, organizational life, and humanized marketing strategy. He has worked with companies such as Samsung, Habitat for Humanity, New Balance, Sony, LG, Amazon, NFL and MLB franchises and is a regular speaker for TEDx, Creative Mornings, CES, HOW Conference, Social Venture Network, American Marketing Association, and AIGA conferences. Steve has published two books, Brand Love and Loyalty and Humanizing the Customer Journey, as well as a forthcoming book, The Evolved Brand: How to Impact the World Through the Power of Your Brand. He has been featured in Business Week, Brand Week, Ad Age, Conscious Company Magazine, MarketingProfs, and HOW magazines. Steve leads his own brand and business strategic consultancy, Mth Degree. Contact:, 619-234-1211 or RO Steven Morris On Brand WE BELONG TOGETHER How your brand's core beliefs create belonging

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