The People Behind the Brands
Brand is everything in the business world. Heck, even in the non-profit world it's everything (especially with strict competition for charity and grant dollars). Brand represents the essence of the experience we have with a given organization at any time, for any transaction or service. It's the opportunity, pitch or referral that entices us, but it's the brand that keeps us.
But brands, as we know, are not logos, taglines, or marketing strategies. Brands are built and sustained by the people behind every touch point.
The person or team managing a brand's social media connections are directly responsible for the voice of the brand, and are empowered (or not) to engage the customer in accordance to the brand's ideals. People create the success (or failure) of a brand, not the marketing department or marketing budget or marketing strategy. It's the CEO who declares, "We serve beyond expectation" and drives the organization to succeed at service. It's the bellperson who sees a hotel guest struggle and helps. It's the team that asks the customer, "How can we listen to you better?" and then actually listens.
Organizations are comprised of the human element. Keep the human element visible, alive and accessible to the customer. Brands are only as strong as the people who are visible behind them, because we aren't just connecting with a website, logo or marketing strategy. We're connecting with people.