What do Apple, Coca-Cola and Disney have in common? Well, each one has a distinctive story and values that quickly conjures a certain impact in everyone’s imagination and perception. For Apple, one quickly associates the name to innovation; for Coca-Cola, fun; and for Disney, magic! These are otherwise called the living brands of such iconic companies -- so explained by Ms. Cathy Ileto, ePLDT’s strategic communications head.
On November 15, 2012, Ms. Cathy gave a talk about Strategic Branding to the executive recruitment consultants of KSearch as part of the company’s Knowledge Enrichment Program (KEP). She first gave a brief background on ePLDT and described the specific functions of ePLDT’s Philippine’ subsidiaries which include iPlus, ePDS and AGS. Then she discussed the steps ePLDT had undergone to be known as a trusted brand.
A brand always starts with a story, Ms. Cathy stressed at the outset. She then pointed out that organizations which plan to create a brand must first identify their vision, mission and values. These three are fundamental building blocks because they act as the driving force that would help improve the performance of the people within the organization.
After having defined the vision, mission and values, each member of an organization must become a brand ambassador. What does it mean to be a brand ambassador? As a brand ambassador, one must embody the brand that is being projected. There must be a complete convergence between the company’s brand and the one endorsing the brand. Just as a brand ambassador represents the brand’s product and style, the brand shall reflect the composite personalities of its brand ambassadors.
One can tell a lot about a company by just waiting at the lobby and observing the employees, Ms. Cathy added. The impression created upon the observer would depend on how the employees reflect the culture of the company. With this in mind, a brand ambassador must make sure that his or her every action and output would create the most positive impact on the other people outside the organization.
Ms. Cathy concluded her talk by encouraging the KSearch consultants to create their own personal brands, but that these personal brands should at all times project a positive image of the company they represent. She thus cautioned everyone in her audience to be extra careful not to tarnish their personal brands because any display of less than tasteful behavior would inevitably impact on the company brand.