Brand and communications consultancy chlorophyll has launched a brand alignment tool called Litmosi, which is an attempt to help CEOs (chief executive officers) understand and measure the difference between corporate beliefs and corporate behaviour. The tool allows a CEO to spot where the gaps lie, and then suggests actions one could take to remedy these gaps.
By definition, Litmosi is an online tool for CEOs to measure the level of alignment between their corporate beliefs and corporate behaviour (practices and processes). The higher the level of alignment, the greater the positive impact on the long term financial bottom line. The tool is a self-test method for CEOs and will be live online by September.
This can be a double edged sword for companies as nothing is hidden from consumers anymore, and the smallest mistake on the part of a brand can snowball into a controversy through SMSes and the Internet in the shortest time, examples including the cola-pesticide controversy, or the Cadbury-worms one.
"Often, like the unsuspecting wife, the companies are the last ones to see what's happening and silence from the company is seen as an admission of guilt," explains Halve, underlining the importance of a brand's growing need to actually listen to its consumers. He adds that this is an age where the company legally owns the brand, but psychologically, it is owned by the consumer. Therefore, a brand should exhibit sincerity to its commitment to the world.
Each brand must not only own a set of values, but also exhibit it in its behaviour and not just in its communication. Brands such as Zara and Body Shop have built themselves not by advertising, but by differentiated values which they stuck to. There is a pressing need to move from brands built by advertising, to brands built by behaviour. In other words, it's not what you say, it's who you are that counts.
Coming back to Litmosi, Halve says that as people are armed with information, accountability is of prime importance, and to understand the difference between what a brand thinks itself to be, and what it actually is, is where Litmosi steps in. "If you can measure this, you can manage it," says Khalap. The tool looks at the nine basic values common to corporations around the world, which lead to 10 basic practices companies have.
"It is a cruel tool that forces CEOs to spot the faults in their brand's behaviour outside," quips Halve. What's more, the tool goes beyond consumer-oriented analysis: it can also help map how a CEO perceives the metrics vis-a-vis the other stakeholders, including employees. "As the tool is a self-test, it can help a CEO avoid the embarrassment of having people discover where the misalignments lie," adds Khalap.
Litmosi is "moderately priced" and it takes about an hour to complete the test.
Litmosi was unveiled on August 14 which marks the 10th anniversary of chlorophyll. On this occasion, an online book put together by chlorophyll, called ideantity, was also unveiled by His Highness Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar, the 76th custodian of Mewar. 'ideantity' is about visions with ideas in them, and helps deal with realities in the 21st century.
Khalap says, "The book is a bold, sometimes counter-intuitive but always factual, look at some of the myths about brands, branding and most specifically, the expression of brands in their identities or logos."