Last week Bridge celebrated 10 years in business, and in that time I have seen an industry come alive across the UK and globally. We are often so struck by the latest gadget launch or advancement in technology that we forget the advancements in how we view people and brand.
From my early days when call centres became contact centres, all the way through to today’s explosion of social media, new terminology and new ideas – it has been quite a journey. Bridge’s timeline is only 10 years in length and in that time the Bridge brand has acquired so many wonderful experiences to tell as part of its brand story. What stories sit inside the timelines of some of our more established institutions? If the walls could talk…. or can they?
Over the past few days I have be researching storytelling and how this can be better used in emotionally connecting our people to our brand story. I am looking for great examples of companies that instil pride, passion and purpose as part of their employee engagement strategy. This comes at a great time as Scott Northcutt, Senior VP of HR for Bacardi speaks at our June 2nd BridgeTalks. Here is an amazing example of a brand that uses its proud history wisely, as both part of its active customer marketing and as part of building its internal culture.
Bacardi is the world’s largest privately held spirits company and the word ‘passion’ is very much part of the Bacardi brand story and culture, as well as being one of their brand values. This started me thinking about the word and its true meaning. Bacardi’s global campaign ‘untameable’ is an amazing example of how passion has been a driving force behind the brand since its beginning. One ad says: ‘Earthquakes, fires, exile, prohibition – sorry fate – you picked the wrong family.’ It takes viewers on a roller coaster ride through history, showing tipping points that would have ended its journey if not for the true grit and passion of its owners to survive.
We often think of words like ‘innovation’ as looking to the future. This is an amazing word to run along your brand’s timeline, pulling out those moments in its journey that exemplify that value. Values are not just words for today – they should be part of your brand’s DNA. It is not the job of management or marketing to make up values so they are fit for purpose. It should be viewed through both the eyes of an historian and futurologist as these values make up your brand personality and are the greatest driver of your employee culture.
Looking back to Bacardi and the word passion, as one of its values it can openly share its story on how this strong emotion had driven success and its people throughout its proud history. At Bridge we use the phrase ‘turning wordings into actions’ and talk about this in either our present and future states, however a wonderful exercise in building a brand story is to run this over the brand time line. Pulling out great stories of when the brand has overcome challenges and diversity. We all come with a few scars, but the things that make us human are the stories we can tell. If brands are alive, then the stories that they tell surely make up part of their brand DNA and act as learning points for its future.