Do your employees know the plan?

Brand alignment starts inside and works its way out
By Sandy French
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 12/16/2002

Recently I went to a home renovation store to make a purchase. They captured my attention through an ad promising renovation advice from the expert, superb service and incredible selection. Just what I was looking for. To my disappointment it was just that, advertising. The store and its staff didn’t meet expectations created through marketing promises, and I felt a little duped, so I left and went to the competition.

What happened to me is brand disconnect — the gap between what a company promises and what it delivers. And it can have an enormous negative impact on a business. An approach to solving this is through a process called “brand alignment” a proven business method that delivers great rewards if properly implemented.

Companies, through marketing and sales and public relations activities, make promises to consumers about the uniqueness of products and services (quality, price, expertise, speed). Over time these promises create in the consumer’s mind an external brand for that company. For example, Tango is Air Canada’s discount airline and its brand is inexpensive flights, or the Gap with its use of celebrities, is about cool and trendy.