CONTINUED 18 their brand vision, and designing and delivering extraordinary customer experiences that differentiate their brand and bond people to it. That is the main idea I want to get across. There is a big difference between branding and brand-building. How do you help companies build their brand? DLY: I take a very customized approach depending on my clients’ needs and the desired outcomes. The first step is to really identify what problem we are solving. Clients will often come to me with a specific question or specific problem but as I start digging around I realize that’s not really the issue they have. There is a whole needs and discovery process, there is a diagnostic evaluation of their brand to really determine how their brand is performing, where the gaps are and what really needs to be addressed. What are some common weaknesses you see in companies with brands that are struggling? DLY: Some of the most common areas of weakness I see are a company’s failure to engage, motivate, align, and inspire their employees. So companies need to make sure that their employees all share one common understanding of the brand and how each of them interprets and reinforces that in their daily decision making and behaviors. Without that level of engagement brands will never be able to inspire their customers. How would you define what makes a brand great? DLY: If you were to use criteria that separates good brands from the great ones it would certainly include higher profitability, lower operating costs, and true customer and employee loyalty. For example, take a brand like Apple. There are a lot of reasons it is great, but it’s not simply their superior technology—that obviously plays a part, but Apple’s success comes from the emotional connection it makes with its customers. Being an Apple customer says something about the customer and how the customer feels about themselves. Why do you believe building stronger brands is important? “A strong brand enables a company to operate with integrity and excellence and deliver real value to customers.” DLY: I believe in the power of business as a force for positive change in the world. I believe it’s business people – not politicians or celebrities – who can make the most difference in this world. Whether you’re a large enterprise or a small company you can really make an impact. Whether you’re offering financing to under-resourced communities, helping people connect through technology with others around the world, or even just serving a really good burger, you can make someone’s life better – maybe even change their life altogether. So brands really have the power to change the world.