I’m a huge fan of HGTV. Having renovated three historic properties, I enjoy seeing what the “professionals” do with the bones and structures of the various homes they undertake. There’s so much thought and creativity that goes into keeping the unique attributes of the houses while updating and modernizing them for today’s consumers.

But I have to admit that I roll my eyes every time the new homeowner swoons over the backsplash in the kitchen. I mean really, that’s what they’re thinking about? Not how the access to the fridge relates to the island, sink and stove? Not the location of the microwave or utility of the light switches, countertops and flooring? A beautiful kitchen with no functionality is like a photo of a casserole. It may look good, but it won’t warm your belly and quiet your hunger pains.

There’s a parallel to how most companies approach a brand review or refresh. These companies bring in an expensive creative agency to modernize their logos, rewrite their taglines and develop a color palette that reflects the popular colors of the day. They focus on the backsplash and create a pretty picture.

Smart companies focus on how their people, processes, systems and technology are aligned to deliver on their brand promises.

These are the integral aspects of a company’s ability to develop and maintain a strong brand – the functionality of the kitchen so to speak. And no shiny logo, catchy tagline (or backsplash) can overcome the internal gaps that will keep a company from being just another pretty picture rather than meeting the expectations of their customers.

Where are you focusing your attention on your brand?