Why Brand Identity Is More Important Than Vision

Why Brand Identity Is More Important Than Vision

Written By: Kevin Watson

4th August 2015

Are you focusing on a vision, a destination you want to reach?

Or, is it more about the journey for you?

Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination.Drake

Recently, I’ve been working with two different senior teams from separate organisations. Both are in the midst of major change and, as a consequence of this change, they need to re-set the direction they take their respective businesses.

Both teams have a vision for their organisation, although these are best described as aspirational, lacking clarity to engage and mobilise the organisation’s workforce.

As I took each team through an initial warm-up exercise, it became obvious that each person’s take on the ‘vision’ differed quite considerably from the next!

So, I provided them with space and materials to create a life-size metaphor of their map-of-the-world, to plot where they are as a team in relation to each other, the markets in which they do business, where they are heading and the challenges they face.

In a state of creative game-play, each of the teams explored metaphors such as tribes, rivers, mountains, forests and walls, each of which represent very real factors that they engage with every day.

By placing themselves at the heart of these 3D maps, both teams gained fresh perspectives, enabling them to see where they are and where they are going with a shared sense of clarity.

However, as both of these similar experiences unfolded, I noticed something rather interesting.

Both teams approached the exercise in their own unique way, yet both represented their map as a journey.

It had a start point, a place where they were moving away from, and an endpoint, where the journey had been completed. Both teams placed themselves between these two points, somewhere on a journey between the place they’d left and the one they were heading towards.

Yet in both cases, it simply didn’t feel right.

Both representations were static, a snapshot that suggested all would be great when they reached their destination.

We’ve all been on journeys where something changes en-route and a new course has to be fixed.

It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.
Ursula K. Le Guin

So this set me wondering…

What if organisations place too much emphasis on the vision?

What would it be like if they focus on building a strong identity, what it stands for and how it wants to conduct business.

Then it could refocus attention on being the best it can be today and not seek to be something else tomorrow.

Download more information on 3D Mapping here. Alternatively drop me a line.

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