Your creative tactics are meaningless if you don’t know what you’re promising, and you can’t deliver on your promises if the people inside and outside your brand don’t understand them.

We’ve been in the branding game for quite a while, and we’ve come to a serious conclusion: Clients are more concerned about isolated tactics than they are about telling an integrated story.

It’s not their fault; it’s easier to articulate a request for a new website, tagline or logo than it is to ask, “Can you help me get my business aligned and in-touch with the wants & needs of my customers?”

The simple fact is that in order for a website, tagline or logo to mean anything, it needs a cohesive set of ideals that gets everyone inspired and keeps all the brand’s moving parts moving in the same direction.

A simpler fact is that in today’s complex and crazy-fragmented marketing environment, you need to align yourself around an impactful story before you start knocking out campaigns.

In other words, you need to get your ducks in a row – your Mission, Vision, Values, Principles, Purpose – before you even think about creative strategies or tactics. At the heart of it, branding is really about “duck alignment.”

Internal Alignment

Alignment has to happen from the inside out, because the way your employees act determines whether people’s interactions with your brand are good or bad, memorable or forgettable. Your team members have to know what your brand stands for – and their role in bringing it to life – so they can create experiences that hit the mark.

External Alignment

We know that when customers are aligned with a brand, they give it twice as much wallet share as brands they don’t feel a connection to. But consumers need to know your values before they can connect with them.

Every communication, experience or touchpoint – including your marketing messages, how your customer service reps answer the phone, your in-store atmosphere and how your product works – is a chance for you to demonstrate consistency and cultivate meaningful connections.

So here’s the upshot. Every project—and every dollar that supports that project—counts. Rather than settle for another isolated tactic that may or may not make a difference, make sure the team you’re working with can help you create an integrated story that aligns who you are with what you do and what your audience is expecting from you, because true alignment can dramatically increase the chances of success of any tactic you try.

Isn’t it about time for marketers to get their ducks aligned and get their brand to straighten up and fly right? We think so, and we’d love help you get where you want to go.

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