One of the most challenging times for any brand is the loss of its founder. How will the organization maintain its brand identity when the person who developed it is no longer there? This is a question that Apple famously wrestled with when Steve Jobs died. As you may or may not know, we recently experienced the unexpected death of our founder and president, Tom Albers.
While Tom’s loss has truly been a shock to all of us, both personally and professionally, it has also been a lesson — straight from his playbook — about maintaining a consistent brand identity. Tom spent 15 years building our brand and made sure that every member of the staff knows it backwards and forwards. He believed that the work of strengthening our brand identity is a continuous process.
Modeling Tom’s belief, we continue to pay this attention to our brand. Just recently, the staff participated in an Albers Fundamentals exercise, where we identified the key traits that set our brand apart (responsiveness, customer service, strength of our team, etc.) and in what ways we could better apply these traits to our work.
One of Tom’s top crisis management tips is to be proactive. Thanks to his planning, consistency and attention to detail, he ensured that our company and team are well-prepared to avoid a brand identity crisis.