What Really Counts?

In a post a few days ago, I chided Rance Crain of AdAge for claiming that the problems with mass marketing can all be attributed to bad ad creative. I posited that this is, at most, a peripheral issue.

So what does count? Great marketing requires brand harmony, where all experiences a customer has blend to tell an understandable, compelling, differentiating story. So, what is the key to telling this brand story?

It can only happen if all employees in the organization are prepared and eager to "be the brand" as they do their jobs. More and more, I have come to believe that the keystone of the whole process is the set of beliefs within the employee population. Are there competing beliefs or one shared belief? Are the beliefs about the past ("what we've been") or about the future("what we intend to be")?

Summed up— do the employees have "a shared belief of what we intend to be." ??

On this rests the success of your marketing.