A brand is much more than a name for a company, a product or service. The power of a brand runs much deeper. A brand holds with it an expectation of service, product type, product variety, reliability, fun or loyalty. It should be a total experience, driven by a set of values that are aligned to your business strategy and demonstrated daily by your employees.
Before you can expect employees to live your brand, they need to understand what makes a brand unique. These five tips can help you to drive your business strategy by educating employees on your brand:
1. Help employees to understand branding
Many people don’t understand how branding works; but as consumers, we are all used to branding when we make purchase decisions. Your goal is to move employees from having general knowledge of branding as members of a consumer society through to seeing your brand as an organizational asset. Ultimately, they will learn how their roles as employees can be aligned to their brand.
2. Drive the importance of brand positioning
Making your product or service stand out from the competition is paramount if you want to stay in business. Work with your employees to understand what makes your offering different and how they can contribute to that differentiation to help your brand stand out from the crowd. Being successfully differentiated is how to best utilize your blend of employees, products, and culture. Involving employees in defining and shaping your brand also helps to drive employee brand engagement; a key factor in business success.
3. Explore your brand promise
How employees interact with your customers and with each other is integral to your business success. Do your employees also live the promises you make to your consumers? Do they fulfill those promises with every consumer interaction and fellow employee? Educating employees about your brand promise helps them to understand what behaviors they need to display to drive that promised experience to your customers.
Branding isn’t always about big, flashy advertising campaigns. It’s about creating differentiation from your competitors. Every company has a brand. Whether or not you choose to manage your brand, however, can be the difference between success and failure in business.
4. The right brand education can make or break your brand promise
Educating employees on the behaviors needed to live your brand promise is one thing, but using education to change behavior requires creativity. Individualizing training through personalizing your brand for employees and preparing trainers with the right tools to make the most impact for all types of learners helps make new behaviors stick. For example, you can train employees by asking them to apply the brand behaviors to realistic scenarios based on everyday work experiences. Starbucks created a major facility and exhibit to physically immerse managers and employees in the brand experience.
5. Reinforce and instill employee brand behaviors
Reinforcing desired brand behaviors is fundamental to lasting success of employees living the brand. Give people opportunities to practice and be measured on their ability to use their new skills in the real world. Consider initiatives like peer reviews of brand-aligned behavior. Branded recruitment and onboarding programs can also help embed new behaviors for the longer term.