I mailed Google last week. A technical question about geo-targeting in AdWords. They mailed back. No complacency. No avoiding the question. No generic waffle. Sure they are a sales orientated organisation but you feel like they are listening and they care about what you are saying, thinking and feeling. Like it or not they do that and a whole lot of other things brilliantly.
I remember someone telling me a while back that the single most important factor affecting whether a business is still in business 10 years after it starts is the strength of its brand. Yep, that makes sense.
But what determines the strength of a brand? Branding people talk about the core idea – the thing that drives an organisation, is what the organisation is about, what it stands for and what it believes in. Successful brands project that core idea across everything they do – their products, their environment, their communications and the way they behave. It drives consistency of purpose.
It’s all about people. It doesn’t matter how technical or digital your business is – people really matter. Your customers. Your staff. Your suppliers. I think if you can put that somewhere close to the core it’s going to make a big difference. Now more than ever. I think it’s going to be the single most important thing in determining the success of your brand in an open and networked economy. If not it should be.