E is shorthand for an important tenet of creating brand energy – Energizing Idea.
There are a lot of different ways to describe this idea – brand DNA, essence, mantra, promise, core identity, etc. But for us, the phrase Energizing Idea is simple, clear and alive.
It refers to a company’s source point for its energy. It’s higher aspirations in people’s lives beyond its commercial purpose. And as a central “energizing idea”, it should (must) serve to inspire, guide and align everyone and everything inside an organization.
Without it, there’s no connective tissue that binds people together around a higher meaning or common cause – which motivates and drives the people who drive your organization (and its greatness). It’s like a football team whose only rallying cry is to play hard.
High-energy brands (and businesses) are guided by (and deliver through their actions) their “energizing ideas.” Importantly, they’re not just baked into their products. These beliefs in what they stand for are delivered across the organization, and across all facets of what should be a uniquely branded customer experience.
Here are five examples of companies who get it – whose “energizing ideas”, and execution against these ideas, serve to ignite passions both inside and outside the organization:
• Lululemon: where dreams come to fruition. I really like the supporting “public” manifesto. Which you get to take home with you, as it’s written on their carry out bags.
• TOMS: improving the lives of children. Delivered through their One for One Movement.
• Chobani: nothing but good. Reinforced through their Shepard’s Gift charitable foundation.
• innocent: healthy habits. Reflected, among other ways, through innocentkids.
• Virgin: the people’s champion . The common thread (of putting themselves in the customer’s shoes) that has led to more than 300 branded companies worldwide.
Common across these companies is that their brand is truly at the center of what they do, and how their people intellectually understand, emotionally connect and behaviorally deliver towards a common goal. And the starting point is their “Energizing Idea.”