Live Your Values
Great brands have great brand promises.
The brand promise is the one thing you consistently deliver to your customer experience every time. For most companies, employees are the front line when it comes to customer relationships, especially if you have a service business. Internal brand pride is a critical success factor affecting external brand attitudes.
If we want our employees to love our brand, we have to love our employees.
If we want our employees to have passion and pride in our deliverance of a superior brand experience, we have to show them we have passion and pride in what they do and who they are.
If your people do not believe in the brand, then you can’t expect your customers to believe in the brand. Brand leadership is top-down. People follow the way the leader is walking, not just talking. When a new employee is hired, a company has 72 hours to make a great first impression. This first 72 hours is a unique opportunity to instill a positive brand attitude.
When you bring someone “on-board”, you get a rare chance to set the stage for the training that follows.
Do you know why the Walt Disney company is so successful hiring people? They maintain focus on what kind of company they are. They are an entertainment company that thrives because of the experience people have when they come in contact with their brand. Walt Disney starts by hiring people who like people. They make sure prospective employees know what is involved and what the expectations are. The emphasis is clearly focused on human relational skills.
Disney is clear about it’s priorities:
Quality of the product
Effective brand experience does not necessarily come from a written policy manual, although there is one; the emphasis is on the fact it must come from the employees’ heart. People need to internalize the company values and believe in them.
Walt Disney’s brother Roy famously said, “When values are clear, decisions are easy.”
To sum up:
Make sure your Brand Promise is crystal clear and everyone not just knows it, but believes it and demonstrates it every time a customer has contact with your company, product or service
Have some sort of employee training program on a regular basis where you are not just explaining your strategy, but demonstrating it also from the top down
Hire people who are already in line from a people skills perspective to be on the front line of your company’s experience chain
Make sure your company values are lived and experienced, not just written or displayed.