Ward Alles

How to achieve brand alignment

By Ward Alles on July 25, 2013

The topic of brand alignment for most CEOs is simple: They either see it as a potential business-building strategy … or they don’t value it at all. If you’re in the latter group, it’s okay to stop reading now. I would never attempt to convince you of branding’s power.

If you’re in the former group (or at least think you are), I invite you to learn about how you can get as many people as possible (customers, employees, vendors, prospects, the media, your community) to morph into fans of your brand over time.

Whether you attempt to achieve brand alignment through in-house efforts … or outsource to an experienced branding firm, we suggest the following 5-step process.

Discover what you’re in business to do, how you are different, and why you and your employees are motivated to be best in class.

Define (succinctly) your brand promise for your customers and your cultural promise for your employees … and synch the two up.

Develop a strategy to launch (or relaunch) your brand internally with employees, to enlist their support, to engage them in the process and to harvest their ideas to execute the brand promise even better for customers.

Deploy the communications campaign and reward the on-brand behaviors of employees and customers alike (to get more of it!).

Debrief with your team to learn what worked in your plan, what didn’t … and then to decide on what biz/branding topics to tackle next. Could be anything, i.e.: social media, recruitment marketing, customer referral programs, R&D. Anything can be improved when filtered through the lens of a carefully crafted, motivating brand promise.

This “5-D” process will take time and is an investment. But afterwards, you’ll come out stronger and “rebranded” for the long-run. Your employees will have more pride, be more productive, have more focus. Your customers will be more satisfied with your product and/or service.

Interested in learning more? Over the next few months, we’ll break down each of those 5 “D’s” in detail and provide real-life examples as we move along.


Ward began his advertising career as a copywriter, working for two of Wisconsin’s leading business-to-business agencies. In 1994, Ward helped form Core Creative with his two partners. At Core, he originally served as an account executive and copywriter. As Core grew, Ward moved on to his current administrative role as president. While he still provides brand consultation and strategy to a handful of accounts directly, his primary goal now is to help guide the agency’s direction and business development efforts. Connect with Ward on LinkedIn or drop him an email at ward@corecreative.com.