Brand, Marketing, Strategy

Staff who read brand statements to customers from a list generated by the marketing department are never going to set anyone on fire. They might even drive them away. So just how do you get across your company values?

Ask Your People What They Think

After all, if you don’t get across your values internally how can you expect anyone outside your organisation to believe it? It needs real thought and effort otherwise customers will see it’s a scam.

The only way to do this is to engage and motivate your staff using the brand values. The brand should represent “how things are done round here”, and as such can be a huge differentiator in the marketplace.

Your People ARE Your Brand

Find out what your staff are passionate about. If their eyes don’t light up when they tell you, how can they be passionate about what they do for you?

Values are your guiding principles for running your business, so it makes sense to recruit people using these. Think about your recruitment adverts and employment process. If you’re clear about your expectations of your people you’ll have a better chance of recruiting and retaining them. Good candidates will have their corporate responses well rehearsed for an interview but it’s only when you cut through this that you get to see the person behind the suit. And, it’s only then that you’ll see if they’re a good fit.

More and more often marketing and HR are joining forces to create a plan that helps build a better, stronger business. Therefore, brand values have to be expressed in an employee’s working day and in the way they present the company. An example of this would be what your people say in phone conversations and how this translates into the customer’s perception of your organisation.

How To Get Buy-In

Communicating your values can be enjoyable, stimulating and fun but it’s essential to think about what your staff events say about your brand.

At the heart of most successful companies, and their value statements, is the need to work collaboratively with colleagues. Furthermore, it’s important to think about their interests and what engages them.

Ramming company statements down employee’s throats is clearly not conducive but still goes on. Rather, their needs to be a focus on employees experiencing the brand for themselves. Give employees the opportunity to share ideas and contribute to your ongoing development. You might find that informal discussions are just as powerful as formal suggestion schemes or forums.

Remember, it’s just as important to listen to staff as it is to customers. And, in doing this a real team spirit will evolve and your brand values get full buy-in.

Dos and Dont’s

Do think about promoting values in engaging and motivating ways, not as management speak

Do remember that most employees know exactly which values aren’t translating into reality, so give them space to feedback and offer solutions

Do remember the most effective values are organically arrived at by everyone in the company

Don’t forget that brands must be built from “the inside out” when customer contact staff are outsourced

Don’t forget that, no matter how much you spend on brand advertising, one bad experience with an employee can undo everything

Don’t fail to get senior staff out and about consistently communicating values informally

Don’t let your brand champions go unrecognised, reward those who live it!

If some of this resonates with you, you’re thinking of revisiting or reigniting your brand and want it to pack more than a punch for your business get in touch


Marketing, Marketing planning, Marketing strategy, Strategy

Embarking on a re-brand is an exciting business decision but there’s a few things to bear in mind before getting carried away with colours and fonts.

1. The brand is more than just the logo, stationery or corporate colours
Brands include everything from customer perception and experience to quality, look and feel. Other important factors are customer care, retail and web environments and the tone and voice of communications.

2. Existing brand equity and goodwill
Dismissing brand equity when re-branding alienates established customers, while unnecessary overhauls can undermine brand perception. Consider the needs of your target audience before digging into the process. Sometimes a small evolution is all that’s needed to make a brand relevant.

3. The re-brand is more than a superficial face lift
The re-brand story must be believable, given the existing brand experience and customer perception. It must also hold credibility internally. If employees who live the brand don’t believe in it, the target audience won’t either.

4. Address the basics
The value of perfecting your physical environment, marketing materials and website is decreased if your customers are kept waiting on the phone or if your contracts are full of jargon. Keep all customer touch points in mind when re-branding.

5. Remember people don’t always do what they say
Use caution when basing re-branding strategies on focus group research. Unless you are actually observing customers using your product or service you are not getting the full story. Personal observation will get you a lot closer to the right solution.

6. Know your brand
Remember, you know more about your brand than anyone else. Although there is obviously great value in a fresh external perspective.

7. Plan ahead for adaptation
It’s tempting for your team members to walk away after the final re-brand presentation. However, this is just the beginning of the final stretch. The implementation process may require adaptation as the re-brand rolls out.

8. Re-brand without research at your peril
There’s a lot of lip service paid about listening to customers, but in brand strategy sessions they’re often forgotten. Current and prospective customers should be front and centre when re-branding. After all, the customer’s reaction will be your ultimate test.

9. Don’t base a re-brand on advertising
An ad campaign and a slogan don’t make for brand positioning. Brand strategy should lead advertising – not the other way around. Often the most effective re-brands don’t include advertising at all.

10. Broaden your thinking
Focusing solely on your own industry can be limiting. When re-branding, cross-pollinate your thinking with what leaders in other industries are doing in customer experience and customer care.