Editor in chief of Børsen (the Danish newspaper specialising in business), Niels Lunde, writes in the article from June this year, “Use identity as a management tool”, about how all organisations and companies can profit from strengthening their identity – and this is a stance I highly agree with.
Unfortunately, it is my experience that, when it comes to identity many companies, advisers, and agencies are too busy with client preferences, what their competitors are doing, or whatever is “trendy”. This happens at the expense of what I call the company’s true identity. Far too often a company’s identity is developed on the basis of input from trend agencies, futurologists, and quantitative client tests – that is, by asking others, who you should be – rather than starting with the company’s own values, story, and inherent strengths – what I would call the company’s Dna.
When you ask others, how they want you to be, you are no longer talking about your company’s own identity and that makes communication and branding untrustworthy – and most importantly, unsustainable – compared to the company’s development and results.
Of course, identity and values can be influenced by trends and clients, just as they can change over time, but a company’s identity and values should, all things being equal, come from within.
My point is this; identity is a company’s most important asset – this is where the company’s uniqueness lies. And if companies are using this asset, they should dare to be true to who they are. It should be their true identity, and the embedded values the company has, that you’re taking advantage of – not something you invent on the basis of customer preferences, what your competition is doing, or whatever the current buzzword is.
Consequently, I encourage all companies to dare to be true; to discover their true identity, and have the courage to live it. Because, as Niels Lunde rightly says, you won’t find a stronger strategic tool.
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