The question is whether your brand is a clearly structured asset to the company, or a confusing jumble of antiquated internal corporate practices.

In many cases, a company’s brand develops over time by pure accident and can, over time, become more of a liability than an asset.

Compare this with a clearly defined and managed brand. The enterprise’s entire decision-making process is more streamlined and on-track. Customers remain loyal to a company is seen a partner in their everyday lives. Competitors look at an ever-rising bar for performance and become less competitive as they mimic your success.

A more organically-grown brand can actually be damaging to corporate strategy. If you lack a solid description of your brand, you are a ship lost to a storm of market forces. Employees make decisions based on personal arguments inconsistent with long-term corporate goals. Customers are easily swayed by inferior products and brands that have more consistent communication strategies. Competitors who study you closely are likely to know more about what you plan to do than your managers.

An integrated brand helps drive your company from the present towards a future of sustained success and market leadership. It serves to both guide and structure decision-making and ensures tomorrow’s achievements actually accomplish today’s goals.

How proactive has your brand development process been? Do your employees represent your brand principles in every aspect of their work? Are your customers loyal because your brand aligns with their values? Does your competition follow your lead in the market?