Like a well-crafted character in a novel, the brand tells you what it wants to do in the marketplace.
I believe all marketing activity (if not all company behavior) begins with a powerful, single-minded, truthful brand idea. For years, I've been writing on Forbes.com that the only way to get away from "random acts of marketing" is to have a well articulated brand idea.
To the point the brand “speaks” to you, tells you what it wants to do and becomes the boss. Like novelist whose characters are so well developed, the characters tell the author what they want to do.
Armed with a well articulated brand idea a company can behave in truly "integrated" and inspired ways, attract more customers and grow its business.
And it doesn't just inspire the advertising, though that's an important part. A great brand idea inspires who the company hires, what charities it supports, what products it decides to make (and doesn't decide to make), how the company services customers, everything.
Further, and perhaps most importantly, a brand idea inspires everyone at the company behind it. For any employee, the question is no longer "What would I do?" it's "What would the brand do?" You could say employees channel the brand with every decision they make.
So if your brand isn’t speaking to you, you may want to speak to me.