By Kenton Clarke
Founder & Social Entrepreneur | Omnikal
A Unified Sound Develops a Lasting Memory
The topic on many corporate minds today and conversations inside corporate teams is one of brand reputation and brand rescue. The most recent examples of message confusion, message delusion and brand salvage have been seen in the form of national ad campaigns, employee communication and corporate leaders’ far-reaching statements. Diversity and Inclusion. These two words are the running theme for the examples mentioned.
I want to ask you to take a minute from this current important conversation-taking place and think about the sound or message you have heard that was the most unified. A sound correlates most easily to the best musical performance you have ever listened to. The end result of that magical work of art is typically the result of a group of talented musicians. The sound creating that feeling it invokes in yourself, whether it be emotion, joy or just beauty to your ears – was one sound coming from one band.
Now you may be asking yourself, what does this have to do with inclusion, branding, brand reputation, and overall company revenue?
There is a tremendous amount of news and activity regarding corporate policy on inclusion and diversity. A recent example involving Unilever’s multi-racial ad for Dove, created an uproar caused by inferences of cleanliness corresponding from darker to lighter skin. The video ad has caused a loss of brand loyalty and created a question in the minds of consumers across ethnic backgrounds. Apple, the Nation’s most valuable brand in the world, recently appeared in our news feed with a corporate executive in charge of instilling diversity and inclusion within the company, having to post an apology for statements made at an international business conference. In fact, you may be reading this with the responsibility of your own brand to manage, corporate message to be authentic and consistent, team to unify, revenue to be met or professional goal to incorporate inclusion in the realm of your own work responsibilities.
As the band now resides in your mind, we all know the sound comes from a combination of instruments, working together to form a renowned musical group, band or orchestra. Let’s take this analogy from band to corporation.
Those same individual contributors in that favorite musical performance that left you with that memorable impression are not dissimilar to the members of your own company you own, work for or buy products from.
“If your brand is to thrive in a competitive market, the enterprise must work in concert to identify, understand and create the behaviors across the corporation to drive repeatable, continuous and measurable inclusion initiatives.”
Be Count Basie
At the same time a unified band or corporation can often not – play or perform as one. The overconfident soloist, the communications department creating a disrupting branding message not corresponding to the company’s end goal are examples of a confusing sound and confusing message. This will result in a dissonance in brand reputation, have immediate impact on company revenue, and can create brand implosion. Such is the case of recent well-known brands Google, PepsiCo, Unilever (Dove) and Apple whose recent employee statements and offensive ad campaigns have been nothing short of brand implosion and a PR nightmare.
In fact, let’s bring in a famous example of superior sound and a unified message. The Count Basie Orchestra was legendary in sound and recognized for the creation of famed artists under his direction. Count Basie was known for perfection of sound development with member orchestras of 20 or more and was an orchestra leader who developed legendary music still recognized as the foundation of orchestral perfection creating One Band One Sound.
Creating the Perfect Sound
There are key examples in today’s corporate America where the company functions as one with a unified message. I have highlighted HP in a prior post as a corporation who drives an Inclusion culture enterprise wide and demands that multi-culture is presented in national advertising. Just as the CMO, Antonio Lucio of HP faulted his own Advertising firms in failing to bring a multi-cultural team; corporations should follow this example with planning and seamless execution. Howard Schultz, CEO Starbucks is another great example of ensuring Diversity and Inclusion are driven throughout the entire enterprise.
It is imperative for brands to follow the role model of corporations like HP and Starbucks in using forethought, planning and professional guidance in creating a foundation of internal company inclusion and portraying that authentically to the public.
Just as the famous band highlighted here includes a unified group of performers, each company’s C-Suite team members must work together, share messaging plans, and highlight key initiatives through all branded national advertising and representation at any level.
Here at Omnikal, we have developed the Together We Are initiative to address these specific communication needs for large corporations and SMBs. This program provides strategic consulting, internal and external multi-media brand communications and overall company messaging to focus on aligning with the Inclusive Majority Market. Imagine the potential for your brand when your organization is transformed internally, in a way that extends through its leadership, workforce, customers, suppliers, community and stakeholders, creating an enduring, positive ripple effect.
One Band One Sound
OMNIKAL is the Nation’s largest, inclusive business organization, built to empower all entrepreneurs, and small to medium sized businesses through “a powerful social B2B platform” that fuels real growth & success.