EU IQ and the attributes of a Visceral Business

Many people seek to put their finger on the special sauce that makes a brand succeed, to try and find the Holy Grail as far as where all this wired up connectivity is headed.

We think it comes down your brand’s EU IQ, the combination of Enjoyment and Usefulness, how well the brand’s proposition offers this and how well it connects, communicates and stimulates conversation around it.

The big win in raising any brand’s profile is to amplify the sense of purpose, mission and cause it has. This is quite a new muscle for many brands to flex. The brand logois often a badging device, a ticket of entry to functional transactions more than relationships.

But social brands ask for involvement and the intangible value of gathering around a cause to support, to solve a problem or pursue a goal has a big part to play.

Social brands can engage when they add something to the quality of people’s lives through sheer interest and enjoyment. They can stand out by creating moments beyond throwaway conveniences and utilities. Unless you want to compete on price and convenience, a brand’s EU IQ is a core differentiator.

We’ve spent a great deal of time looking at business drivers in today’s markets and think it’s time for new models of organisation to push the boat out beyond what Sara Roberts calls Qwerty thinking.

In my TEDx talk last year I discussed moving from mechanical to more biological processes of organisation, reframing organisational transformation as being about live and dynamic neural pathways of engagement and promoting the organic strengths and capabilities of brands as networks.

The acid test, we think, for successful social organisations consists of 5 key attributes.

1. They’re Networked, incorporating network principles into their behaviour and operating via a
 distributed model, either in terms of how they’re structured and/or how they reward people.

2. They’re Seamless. Community blurs the lines between the inside and the outside of the organisation 
and collaborative, two-way dialogue’s built into all interaction.

3. They’re Open. The business model demonstrates transparency and user-centric perspectives.

4. They’re Compelling and the brand is congruent and credible. It has social and commercial
 value, comprised of people, rituals, symbols, values and behaviours that create competitive edge
 beyond the logo, that are the platform for a sustainable business.

5. They’re Beyond Profit. Their operating framework’s neither ‘for profit’ or ‘not for profit’, it’s ‘beyond
 profit’, satisfying a triple win for the business, the quality of life of its people and for the planet. They recognise social currency includes time, money, love and attention as part of the mix.

Depending on the type of business and the sector they’re in, the balance of each of these may vary. That said, as conventional business models find it harder to sustain business margins and deliver returns in value, hitting the mark on these is becoming a good bet for investment, participation and buy-in.

What do you think? Could it be the visceral connective tissue of people coming together around brands is what;s next for the networked organisation? I’d love to hear your point of view about this.