Apply the E-Myth to Improve Your Brand Management
Do you ever feel like you have too much to do and not enough time?
If you’ve been a marketer long enough you’re probably already laughing at me for even asking that question.
As marketers we’re constantly trying to do everything. Because we’re juggling so many things at once, branding often gets left behind.
Luckily, it doesn’t have to be this way. You can actually hand off many aspects of the brand to others in the company.
And you should. Powerful brands work best when every person in the company knows, understands, and lives the brand.
The question you’re now wondering is ‘how’?
If you haven’t already been introduced to the E-Myth, let me make the introduction.
What is the E-Myth?
The E-Myth by Michael E. Gerber is a fascinating read, and if you haven’t had a pleasure of reading you should add it to your reading list.
The area of the book we’re concerned with though is the idea that inside all of us are three personalities:
- The entrepreneur
- The manager
- The technician
These personalities are always fighting with each other, but as you noticed, they also represent various positions inside companies.
The goal is to eventually create systems and processes for each position and then have someone else take over that position for you. In the end, you can create a business that runs without you.
The great thing is we can apply this to branding as well. Our goal is to create systems for different aspects of the brand and then hand those off to others in the company.
Applying the E-Myth to Branding
The simplest way to think about this system is to recognize who in the company is responsible for the three personalities of the brand.
The executives in the company are the ‘entrepreneurs’ of the brand. They set the brand vision, brand position, and are staying aware of changes in the market.
It is their job to point the brand in a direction and provide clarity if confusion arises.
When the entrepreneur role of branding is correctly implemented, executives will provide you with the guidance and resources necessary to build a successful brand.
The marketing team are the ‘managers’ of the brand. They carry out the vision from the entrepreneur and then ensure the technicians are executing the brand.
While the marketing team still creates marketing collateral, the focus is on brand promotion. Brand experiences are instead handled by the ‘technicians’. However, those technicians need your guidance to ensure the experience a customer receives is the one intended by the marketing department.
It can be difficult, but once you’ve gotten yourself in a position where you can focus on aligning the brand (instead of constantly executing the brand) you’ll know you’ve converted the marketing team into the manager role.
‘Technicians’ are the front line workers of the business. They are typically the first time a customer actually experiences your brand. Marketing collateral may set the tone of your brand, but it’s usually not interactive (except your website).
As a marketer, it is your job to train technicians on your brand and how to execute it.
You’ll know you’ve successfully implemented the technician role when customers are receiving consistent experiences in line with your brand.
E-Myth Branding Roadblocks
As you read this you may be either feeling relieved or frustrated.
If you’re relieved then you’ve realized that you don’t have to do this alone. Also, if you focus on the biggest area you can make an impact, which is the manager role, then you know the brand is only going to get stronger.
However you may be frustrated as well. Marketers love to be creative and problem solve. So, why do the executives get to be the entrepreneurs? Often times they know little about marketing or branding. Is it right or safe to put them in charge of the brand’s vision and positioning? The answer is ‘Yes, but…’
While the executives are the ‘entrepreneurs’ in this system, it’s your job to guide them and reel them in. You probably already do this quite a bit. However, if you’re constantly thinking ahead and not focusing on the operations of the marketing department, the brand and all marketing efforts are going to suffer. So, when you can effectively manage the entrepreneurs and technicians everything runs smoother, you’re less stressed and the brand is stronger.
Humans by nature are risk-adverse. So, it’s likely you’ll meet resistance as you try to implement this new way of brand responsibility.
Most executives won’t have problems driving the vision of the brand (most likely already do). However, your main challenge with executives is steering them in the right direction. As a marketer you’re the expert when it comes to branding. So, here are some quick tips on how to guide executives:
- Make them document the components of the brand (it’s purpose, position, etc).
- Help them zero in on a particular target demographic they want to target.
- Remind them branding is about what resonates with customers. Personal preferences must stay out of branding decisions.
For front-line staff and those who interact with customers, your biggest challenge will be training.
But brand training is unlike traditional job training.
For a company to create amazing brand experiences, everyone needs to understand the brand. This means helping team members understand the 7 steps of brand building.
You’ll still want to provide checklists, expectations, and measurable goals. However, the main focus is on why those systems are place.