Cooper Parry Culture Carnival | Your Brand Is Not Your Logo, Matt Davies

Cooper Parry Culture Carnival | Your Brand Is Not Your Logo, Matt Davies

(lighthearted music) – There’s a massive change
happening, isn’t there, in business, and I think we’re
witnessing it here, today, with what’s happened with Cooper Parry. Your brand is not your logo. What is your brand then,
let’s get that out of the way. I define brand as the
meaning people attach to you and your offer. I’m an ex-designer. I graphic design. I used to get so frustrated with people when they used to just say, oh,
just create me a brand, man. Just create me a brand,
and what they meant was they wanted a logo,
some fonts, some colors, a little booklet, and they
wanted basically a veneer, a lick of paint. I don’t think licks of paint
are good enough anymore. I never did actually, but I
think even more today, now, licks of paint do not work. What we want is truth. What we want is authenticity. And what we want is meaning. So brand, the meaning people
attach to you and your offer is a much more helpful
definition of a brand than a logo and some fonts. Culture is so closely
aligned to the meaning people attach to you, right? Because your people,
they’re on the frontline. They’re the ones interacting
with the customer. So the meaning people attach to you from a customer perspective
has to be inside the very people that
you employ, all right? The scary thing about the
definition I’ve just given about brand being the
meaning people attach to you is that what that says is you
don’t actually own that brand. Because it lives in the
hearts and the minds of the people that are perceiving you. It’s in the eye of the beholder, right? That is a scary thing. You gotta kind of think of
it from that perspective. You don’t own it, but you
kind of can do certain things to help get that meaning out there, to get the right signals out there, and culture is one of those
really, really key things. These things don’t happen up by accident. It’s amazing. I rarely say this, but that
was a tough act to follow, right, when you’ve got Ade
and April on the stage. Because this is a business at Cooper Parry that actually is living and breathing the things that they profess. I’m here to champion
that for all of you guys who are running business right now. Don’t just say it, do it. Lean into it. Because that is gonna be the
future of business, I’m sure. Anyway, I digress. Brand is the meaning people attach to us, and I’ve got because of culture, because of behaviors, customs,
and beliefs of our people. There’s a great little
book called “Great Mondays” by a chap called Josh Levine. “Great Mondays”, I’d recommend it. He talks about designing your culture. He gives a definition,
which I think is fantastic. He says our culture is
the cause and effect of all of the decisions we make. The cause and effect of all
of the decisions we make. From somebody on the front desk, someone in your retail shop,
somebody who answers the phone, right up to your CEO, all of those decisions create a culture. And so you need some sort of north stars. You need some guidance. You need some help. What is our culture? It doesn’t happen by accident. Ade was talking about,
it was very deliberate. This is the game I’m in, branding, which is the attempt,
the very big attempt, to manage meaning. It’s tough. It’s hard. But businesses really need
to get to grips with this. In business, I think we’re
great at setting goals from a financial perspective, from a turnover, from a sales. I know I’m in an accountancy firm. So I gotta be careful about
what I say about numbers, but we love numbers, don’t we? But when it comes to the
more emotional things, the more creative things,
which are becoming more and more and more important, we find it tough to change. We find it tough to really
think, well, who are we. Why are we here? Why should anyone care? That is where brand comes into play. When you think about it,
your brand as a collective group of people and touch
points and offerings and experiences, it speaks a certain way. It dresses a certain way in its design. It behaves in a certain way. It sources it materials
from certain places, etc. It does things for us from
a consumer perspective. It exists on the basis
of a set of beliefs. I think that one is becoming
more and more important. All of those things come together
into your audience’s mind to create a meaning, whether they will buy or whether they will not buy, whether it feels right and
whether it feels wrong. This is even more important
when we come to consider culture because all these things
apply to attracting talent to your organization. We’ve heard about attacking the
best talent, the top talent. If you want the best people who are right for your
organization, you need to know who they are and what they believe and if they believe the same as you. All of the brand should flow
through absolutely everything. It’s start at the heart with
the culture with your people, and then it goes through
your products and services, your customer experience. And finally, the lick of paint on the end should just be that. It should just be, this is us. This is how we are. That’s how I see it. That was a bit of a
preamble, bear with me. I’m already getting the eye. (audience laughs) I wanna share with you
some actual takeaways and stuff that you can
maybe start to think about applying in your own organizations. I wanna share three tools. We’re gonna rapidly go through them. Story telling, design
thinking, and agile strategy. These are kind of buzz words, but I’m gonna try and make
them really simple for you, and hopefully sell them
a little bit to you in terms of the benefits of them. Then I wanna sort of share
with you three ideas, three strategies that you
could then take these tools and apply them to each
of these three things. Aligning your leadership and enhancing your employee experience and embracing innovation. These are really crucial things. So, are we ready? Yeah.
– Yes. – Yeah!
– Yes! Right, tools. Okay, just so we know we are, just thought I’d make it super big. (audience chuckles)
Number one, and a big number one, story telling. Okay. If brand is the meaning
people attach to us, and branding is the attempt
to manage that meaning, how do we create meaning
in our organizations? How do we even as humans
understand the world around us and kind of create
meaning about ourselves? The answer is stories. That’s the simplest thing. When you boil it all down,
brands are just stories. Like people, we’re all just a
story if you think about it. When you think about it as you grew up, how did you make sense
of the world around you? Through stories. Through little story
books, but not just that. Through your cultural story,
through your religious story. The psychologists actually tell us, and I think this is really interesting, that all of us have kind of
like a self written story that we write, probably
from a quite early age, of ourselves and our lives. It’s kind of like, we might
not know it, but we do. We kind of an expectation
of where our life should go. When stuff in life kind of
is on track, we feel happy, and we feel content. But when something in our life doesn’t fit with our self written story
of how things should be, we’re discontent. So we look around for stuff. We look around for things
to help us with our identity to get us back on track
to reinforce our story. We look for other people. We look for brands, in fact,
that we can borrow bits from that says something about us. So that we can live into our own stories. Stories are really, really important. This goes from a consumer perspective, but also from an employee perspective. If I wanna work for an organization, I wanna make sure that it
reflects what I believe and my self written story. There’s certain organizations
that I wouldn’t work with because it just wouldn’t
feel right for me. There’s others that I would. So this is how it works. Quick little book to share. I love sharing books. Anyone heard of this guy, Joseph Campbell? He’s really interesting. He wrote this book, “The
Hero of a Thousand Faces”. This is a story telling kind of phenomena that he coined the monomyth. So typical story line that
happens in all stories. This is how we kind of
see the world around us and even ourselves in that story. We can start thinking about it
from our employee experience but also our customer experience. I think as businesses, we
need to zoom out a little bit. Sometimes we look very much. We think the world’s all about us. We look at the customer
journey and we say, someone wants to come
into contact with us, and then we do this, and then they go. And then we forget about them. But the truth is, I think, we
need to zoom right back out. We need to look at people
in their life stories. This is an really interesting
way of thinking about it. Who are our customers? Who are our employees? Ultimately, what do they want to become? How are they gonna become stronger after interacting with us? Let me just show you this. Very simply, there’s three acts. Act one, there’s the character, he’s in his or her ordinary world, and then there’s some sort of calling. But they don’t have the skills, they don’t have the knowledge. They have to go to a mentor. They get the mentor, and then
suddenly the adventure begins. They depart from the ordinary world. They go into a special world. There’s trials. There’s all sort of problems. There’s this major crisis
that they have to overcome. But then they overcome it. They get some treasure, there’s a result. Then they return back again to the normal world that they came from. Everything is lovely. But it’s different. Because during the journey,
they’ve learned something new. They’ve become stronger. They’ve changed. That is ultimately what it’s all about. Stories help us as
humans deal with change. And as brands and business,
we are trying to get people to change somehow. We’re trying to help their
lives be a bit better. So why would we not take this and use it from a customer perspective
and employee perspective? That’s my challenge to you. Here’s the key thing. If this is the journey of
our customer or our employee, who are we in this story? What I like to encourage
business leaders to do is to think about themselves and say, are we a character in
our customer’s story? If we are, which character
are we, which part do we play? Let me just give you a very brief example. Let’s say a business sells
their glamorous object which is a drill bit. Now you could say, I’m
selling drill bits, guys. You wanna buy a drill bit? And, you know, probably not. Why, why would you want
to buy a drill bit? Well, you wanna buy a drill bit because you wanna drill a hole. So you could say, actually,
we are selling holes. We’re selling the results. Well, that doesn’t feel
that great, does it? The truth is is what
are we actually selling? We’re selling the ability to
do things like put up shelves. Are we selling that, are
we selling that end result? But, actually, no, I would say that when you want to dig
deep into a customer story, you’re not actually. Why are people putting up shelves? They’re putting up shelves so that they can look at
their partner and say, hey, I put up a shelf, and they like, yeah, you’re awesome! You put up a shelf. That is the feeling
that you get at the end. So don’t sell the drill bit. Sell that emotional feeling at the end. Drill down deep into the
whole customer journey and what it makes the customer become and ultimately how they’ll feel at end. As I say, the customer
has got to become the hero in your story. We’re a character in their story. One of the quick thing I’m a big fan of, I’m not gonna have time to
go through them all today, is to look at archetypes. Archetypes are like typical characters that pop up in stories, first uncovered by Carl
Jung and defined as patterns of behavior that we as humans
kind of associate with. Anyone heard of Carl Jung? Oh, dear, scary. Hopefully, no psychologists in the room because I’m not a
psychologist, by the way. But this is really big
rooted in psychology. His work was used by Margaret
Mark and Carol S. Pearson in this book here, “The
Hero and The Outlaw”, and they applied it to brands. What archetypes do is they live here in our deep collective unconscious. When I just reference
things briefly, you’ll see. You’ll kind of associate with the meaning without me even having to
go through it very much because that’s where stories lie and the characters in stories lie. Here they are. Here’s 12 of them. The explorer, the lover,
the jester, the creator, the rebel, the magician,
the hero, the caregiver, the innocent, the sage,
the citizen, and the ruler. Now these are a powerful
tool, I would say, to rethink your business
in a more emotional way. Which one are we? What I do is with leadership
teams, I often sit them down and split them up, and suddenly I’m. You say, well, which archetypes are we? And everybody thinks
we’re something different. And I say, well, that’s
the problem, isn’t it? Because we’re all pulling
in different directions in the story we’re trying to tell. Therefore, the meaning a customer gets is going to be really confused. I just want to pull out one, the rebel. You are here today probably
because you have somehow connected to the rebel
archetype which is Cooper Parry, disrupt lead, make life
count is what they stand for. In fact, it was nice to
Abe when he referenced that news clipping that said
that the rebels of accountancy. They’re proper living
into the rebel archetype. As he said, what do
typical accountants do? This. We wanna do the opposite. That is a rebellious thing. A lot of the customers, I
imagine, of Cooper Parry they wanna change things. They wanna rebel against the norm. They wanna grow. If they were in Star Wars,
they would’ve been Han Solo, I would suggest. So, 12 archetypes, which are useful. They help us to manage meaning
by telling better stories. Now, the rest are gonna
be a little bit quicker ’cause I realize I’m
way over time already. Sorry, clan, I’m gonna be quick. The other thing is just how
do we make things better? I would say through design. These things don’t happen by accident. Design sits between where
you are all today now and the future. You’ve gotta design your way there. It won’t happen by accident. We’ve gotta be purposeful. Typically, we’ve been
solving problems in business by what we know and what’s always been. Then we’ve kind of just
done a bit more on the basis of what we’ve already done. But the truth is we need a new way. This is where design thinking comes in. Because it adds this new
little thing called make, which is where you play with stuff, and you test it out. You try it with customers. You really inject new
innovation into the market. You open up your potential possibilities. You narrow down on a problem. And you open up on solutions. Then you deliver that,
and then you repeat. But in this middle stage
here, you’re testing it. By the time it goes to market, you’ve got customers in the room. People know what’s going on. You get them all together. That’s the third talk, agile strategy. Agile is a lovely buzz word. I use it, in essence, to help
people collaborate at speed. We’ve got to move fast
in today’s day and age. This top-down kind of waterfall processes which businesses have
been used in working in, is not working. It doesn’t mean we
can’t move quick enough. There’s bottlenecks all
the way on every step. What you need to do is get
the right people in the room and short burst of energy around
key problems to solve them. I always suggest get
the leaders in a room. Get a customer in there. Get people who are on
the frontline in there. And innovate together. If you do that, you
can design with people, not simply for people. By the time you go market,
you know it’s gonna work. Using those three tools,
you can really design and tell stories and create some meaning throughout the whole of your organization. Strategies. Three, number one. Align your leadership. It’s interesting to hear Ade say that was one that was
one of the key things that the leaders of
Cooper Parry wanted to do. They wanted to get. They had a vision. And they were all aligned to it. This is quite a simple but helpful tool to ask a leadership team. Why do you exist? What’s the purpose and the beliefs, other than making money, for this organization? How are you gonna do it? What’s the mission? What the values? What are the guide posts as you attempt to fulfill your purpose? What are you actually offering ultimately? And this is the most important
one, I would suggest. Who are we doing it for? And why should I even care? When you think about the values. We heard from April
earlier about the values. I think that was absolutely fantastic because when you just
operate on specific rules, if any shoe falls outside of those rules, people get lost. They don’t know what to do. But if you have values, if
you’ve got a culture of values, then when an issue arises outside of that and you allow your
people to make decisions, they can start operating
around those values, which means a better customer experience. That’s number one. You’re gonna align the leaders. You’ve gotta give people permission. You’ve gotta really think
about your employee experience. New buzz word, EX, employee experience. We love buzz words with an X on the end. UX, CX, EX. Some of my work. Yeah, careful with that,
where you go with that. (members chuckle) Some of my work, quite
interestingly in brand, has been adopted a lot
by HR kind of teams. Brand typically has been
the role of marketing. Here you goes. It’s kind of like, isn’t
it a logo and some fonts. Let’s leave that to marketing. But the things is in HR, we’ve gotta kind of go
out on social media, and we’ve gotta try and attract talent. But marketing like, no, brand is mine. You can’t have anything to do with this. So the two don’t talk. But the truth is we’ve
gotta unify the whole thing. You’ve gotta think about it
from a holistic approach. You’ve gotta really consider
the whole experience from an employee perspective
if you wanna retain and attract the top talent. We’re doing a very bad job of it. We mentioned Gallop before. This is a study they did a few years ago. 41% of employees who know what differentiates their company brand. Only 41% of them knew. That means about 60%, if this is something that
we can take as a rule, 60% of your employees won’t
know why you’re different. So we’ve got a problem. We’ve gotta start working on brand inside so then it reflects itself outside. How are we rewarding people,
formally and informally? Are we doing it around the
brand and what it stands for and the character it’s
supposed to be living? What are our routines? What is our culture from
a routine perspective? You can design all of
these things in accordance with a top level strategy to make sure that it’s being applied effectively. How are you reminding people
of why they come to work and what the point of it all is? That’s becoming more and
more challenging, isn’t it, as we get a little bit. We don’t all come to one place often. We’re working remotely. So final one is to embrace innovation. Because the truth is is
that we can’t stay the same. We have to move to a new place that is highly designed
around the consumer. We’ve gotta differentiate ourself, particularly, if we wanna
stop competing on price. We can get commodity based
stuff from anywhere, can’t we? But what’s the difference between buying a commodity from over here and
a commodity from over here? Often it’s the stories, the
narrative, it’s the brand. It’s what that thing will make me become or make my identity with. It’s not just that though. It’s also then how do I
interact with that brand. What’s my experiences as I go through it? The key thing is to design your customer. Who do we really serve? What do they want to become? How can we make them stronger? Why should they care? So market segmentation,
I’d suggest, is a bit of a false economy,
sometimes, ’cause it’s got this huge market. Yet, but in that market, who are we actually trying to serve? And what if that market
doesn’t even exist yet? What if we’re here to serve
particular type of people with a particular belief system? We get scared of new things. And fear is the number
one enemy of innovation. What I say is you gotta take those tools. You gotta apply them to all these things. Because creating real meaning
is the key to the future. We all have stuff. But what we need is more
meaning in our lives. That’s what we’re prepared
to pay a little bit more for. That is what we want. We want that story to go with as consumers and as employees. Mediocracy will not work,
I would suggest to you. So, there we go. Three tools. Three strategies that
you can hopefully use to maybe think a little
bit more differently about your business, about
your brand, about your story. So I just leave you with
one kind of final thought which is I hope these
things have helped you to think about your meaning. And, ladies and gentlemen,
we really do need, if we’re gonna survive
in the 21st century, if we’re gonna progress,
if we’re gonna grow as organizations and as people, we need to manage our meaning. We need to give real thought to this.

local_offerevent_note September 13, 2019

account_box Branden Gomez


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