magnetic brands

Magnetism – it’s that positive emotional energy that draws us in and makes us take notice. We become curious, compelled. Maybe even a little obsessed.

Magnetic brands have that undeniable pull. Companies that do this well put tremendous effort into this brand magnetism, yet it can seem so easy. When we interact with these brands, we walk away with really positive feelings. It’s like hanging around that friend who has an unapologetic positive attitude and zest for life that rubs off whenever we’re near them. When brands behave that way, we are drawn back again and again because they make us feel good. The energy generated by magnetic brands doesn’t happen by accident.

Magnetism Is All About Positive Energy

Think about attending a concert where the performers generate tremendous energy that’s absolutely contagious. You can’t help tapping your feet or even dancing along – it’s electric. But consider for a moment how many times those musicians have performed those songs. Hundreds or possibly even thousands of times. For a classic band like the Rolling Stones or a musician like Bruce Springsteen, they’ve been performing some of their songs for decades, yet they can make every performance seem fresh and exciting – as if they showed up that night to perform just for you. And fans keep coming back for more even though they’ve heard the songs many times before.

The secret of these seasoned performers is in the intentionality to deliver every time and a commitment to their reputations – or their personal brands. They wouldn’t dream of giving a less than stellar performance when thousands of adoring fans are watching.

Magnetic brands share that same intentionality and commitment. These companies put incredible effort into defining what the brand stands for, the values and beliefs that support it, and the type of experience that will deliver it. These companies are very clear on what their brand is, and equally clear on what it isn’t.

Magnetic Brands Align Behind Their Promise to Customers

But defining the brand is really just the first step. The magnetism is generated by aligning every effort of the organization behind delivery of the brand promise – a practice we call internal-external brand alignment. These companies know that a compelling promise is pointless if it’s not actually delivered. It would be like showing up for that Rolling Stones concert rife with anticipation and finding out that Mick Jagger doesn’t really feel like performing that night. He’s not sick or incapacitated. He’s just not into it. What would that do to his fans? Would they hand over more money next time he comes to town?

And it’s not just the performers who are on the hook to deliver – it’s all the people behind the scenes who contribute to the show’s success from lighting to sound to logistical details of traveling from venue to venue. Without an intentional and aligned commitment from all team members to deliver at every performance, the show would not go on.

Aligned organizations also rely on people behind the scenes who make the magic happen. The brand promise is not a responsibility that lives exclusively with those who interact with customers. Every department, function and strategy operates with a unified intent and commitment to deliver the promise and contribute to the overall success of the organization.

The magnetism of aligned brands extends beyond external fans and applies to internal ones too – employees. These organizations typically have no shortage of qualified candidates to fill open positions, and employees tend to stick around longer. When a company is aligned behind its brand, culture is generally much more positive and purposeful. Team members who intuitively align with the values and beliefs of the organization will remain committed and seek opportunities to grow and develop. These are the rock stars who will help an organization achieve new levels of performance out of a commitment to deliver the brand promise.

To read about other characteristics of aligned brands, be sure to check out these articles:

The Power of the Customer Promise: Characteristics of Aligned Brands

Focused: Why Customers and Employees are Drawn to Focused Companies

Open: How Open Brands Communicate and Collaborate

Agile: How Agile Organizations Embrace Change

Confident: How Confident Brands Break all the Rules

Resilient: How Resilient Brands Recover from the Unexpected

About Alice Wright

As Director of Content Strategy, Alice directs projects while also designing program strategy and instructional content. She has more than 22 years of experience managing integrated strategic marketing, communication and training programs for globally recognized brands. Some of her current and past clients include Nike, Sunglass Hut, Safeway, Banfield Pet Hospital, Office Depot, Unilever, LensCrafters, EMC, Intel, Microsoft, Dell, adidas, Joann Stores and others. Alice earned her bachelor’s degree from the School of Journalism and Communication at University of Oregon. She lives with her husband and teenage son in Portland, Oregon where she loves exploring the outdoors and being a soccer/band mom.