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Every company has a corporate brand.

But most are undifferentiated and uninspiring.

Here’s the problem: people don’t align with undifferentiated and uninspiring brands.

So, you must start by evaluating your corporate brand. (While your company may have many brands, it is your corporate brand that ultimately creates alignment.)

Your corporate brand has many functions.

First, your corporate brand must be an umbrella. It must be large enough to cover all your products and services. It must work in all your geographies. It must appeal to all your stakeholders.

While some will debate the “extendibility” of a corporate brand, Virgin uses theirs for every business they enter. Obviously, this creates alignment across their entire portfolio.

Second, your corporate brand must identify who you are and differentiate you from your competitors. Some of the key components of your corporate brand include:

  • Your company name
  • Your corporate logo
  • Your corporate visual identity
  • Your corporate value proposition
  • Your corporate personality
  • Your corporate tagline

So, perhaps you are thinking, “We have these things … so, we are aligned, right?”

Remember, people don’t align with undifferentiated and uninspiring brands. So, just because you have them does not automatically mean that they are any good.

Finally, your corporate brand must be a powerful magnet. It must attract the right people—including employees, customers, partners, and investors—to your company.

This week, we will explore how fast-lane companies like Virgin, UPS, the Government Employees Insurance Company, Chick-fil-A, and De Beers unleashed the accelerating power of alignment by creating a corporate brand so powerful that millions of people want to align with it.

NOTE: These stories are excerpted from my book, Drive One Direction.