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When brands engage employees and customers in co-creation, how do you still keep integrity and vision intact? Meghan Lynch, CEO of Six-Point Creative, and Ken Meyers, president of Panorama Foods, discuss the benefits and pitfalls of the human element of brand building.

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Robert Glazer

Meghan Lynch

Ruth Lund

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For decades, brands were pushed down to customers. The company had all the control, and customers were, for the most part, passive. That’s not the case anymore. Companies no longer have that amount of control. Company leadership can’t decide unilaterally what a brand is going to look like, what it’s going to stand for, what that message is going to be. Now any number of people, both internally and externally, most of whom the company doesn’t control, are going to be contributing to that process along the way.

So what can you control? This is where focus can be an extremely helpful tool. When companies can identify who their target is in a very laser-like way, they can create relationships with people who are very symbiotic to the relationships and values and promises that that brand wants to be.

In this way, the brands are not trying to spread themselves too thin, especially early on before it’s been established. Once they begin to scale and grow, this can help to cut down on the number of people coming in and commenting on, or co-opting a brand who are not really the target audience. If people are talking about the brand but it’s not for them, then it can be easy to quickly lose control of a brand and lose control of the story that’s being told about it.

Focus, therefore, becomes critical to building a strong brand. Many founders think of focus as losing opportunity. Instead, focus becomes a way to attract the right opportunity and get access to the right audiences who will support the vision for a brand instead of fighting against it or undermining it.