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Your people are your brand

  1. How culture builds the right brand to deliver your strategic plan. YOUR PEOPLE ARE YOUR BRAND
  2. It’s a tough market out there so how do you build the authentic brand promise that goes before the sale to ensure you are in at the sales stage? Never before has the customer being so well informed about your business, your products, your service and your quality reputation. Research shows that close to 60% of the buying decision is made before the client even contacts you.
  3. It is the people-behaviour element of the brand that needs to be addressed to ensure a consistent brand promise is delivered across the whole organisation at all times. Aligning the internal culture of the organisation behind the brand promises ensures you deliver a great customer experience.
  4. Employees are ambassadors of the brand and arguably have more influence over customer perception than marketing or PR activities. Research shows that customers’ perception of a brand is strongly influenced by their experience of the people that represent the brand which can be anyone from the CEO to the delivery driver.
  5. Authenticity from the top to the bottom is a must for organisations and the focus is on how the values and brand is translated into daily practices and behaviours, drawing a golden thread from the boardroom to the front line customer experience. Workplace culture is central in this new paradigm of recognising the value of values… but this has to be in practice.
  6. Brand control is moving away from the organisation that “owns” the brand to the communities that engage with them. Trust is becoming increasingly important as customers seek to understand the substance behind the promoted “face” of brands they buy. What do they really stand for and believe in? The speed and reach of communication enabled by social media magnifies this trust factor.
  7. Organisations and brands are no longer what they say they are. They are what others say they are” “
  8. Authenticity is the new Holy Grail for organisations and the focus is on how the values and brand are translated into the daily practices and behaviours of employees. Employees are ambassadors of the brand and arguably have more influence over customer perception than ever before. So how do you do build this culture?
  9. Being intentional about culture means you approach it in a planned way. You shape your company’s norms, values and beliefs deliberately rather than letting them evolve organically. Workplace culture is central in this new paradigm of recognising the value of values… but this has to be in practice rather than a PR or communications exercise.
  10. One of the most important pieces of this puzzle is how you articulate your culture to the people who need to live it every day. It might sound complicated, but the following ten steps will help you get started:
  11. Get clarity on the brand values required to deliver the strategy Look at your strategic plan, your target market, your competitors and then devise the best set of values and culture that will enable you to stand out and delight. 1
  12. Define the gap in the business between the current and the desired Requires a high degree of self-analysis with surveys and questionnaires likely at both client and staff level. Analyse from past staff and customer surveys what they have been saying. 2
  13. Design the Brand Program based on the required behavior change Look to a blended approach using a range of interventions with coaching at the senior level the best place to start. Get as many staff involved in the process as you can to ensure buy in. 3
  14. Communicate what your culture is and why it matters Clearly outline your corporate culture for employees. How do you define it? How can they live it? Explain how it enables your unique business strategy and desired brand. Explain how the required behaviours will connect to your target audience. 4
  15. Set behavior expectations Cultural attributes help you set expectations around attitude, how people work together, how they interact and more. Explicitly communicate them in simple “action” phrases that clarify what you want from employees. 5
  16. Remember the culture of any organisation is shaped by the worst behaviour the leader is willing to tolerate” “
  17. Educate your people about the culture Lead by example is the best way to educate people about culture and expectations. Provide culture training for all employees and leaders. Add it to new hire orientations and regular meetings. Go “deep” on each cultural attribute you want to reinforce. 6
  18. Thread culture through everything you do This goes beyond day-to- day communications. How do you hire for cultural fit? How do you talk about it in inductions? How do you incorporate it into performance KPI’s? These all show your employees what’s important to your culture. 7
  19. Set accountability and metrics You have to evaluate your culture and hold people, especially your leaders, accountable for living it every day. Develop metrics for employees and managers to help integrate cultural values into their goals and performance targets. 8
  20. Empower culture champions Every company has respected leaders, both formal and informal, who are ambassadors of your culture. If you are the CEO then you need to be Ambassador No1 and ensure you surround yourself with people who know they’re regarded for upholding the culture. 9
  21. Create opportunities to live the culture and keep the momentum It’s important that people understand the overt ways they can participate in your culture. Think about holding special events where employees can pitch ideas for improving their product and delighting customers. 10
  22. Building People brand is all about influencing the behavior of staff to reinforce your corporate brand values and promise in their everyday work. Creating the right Employee brand means creating the internal culture that gives direction, purpose and then empowers and supports staff to deliver this in a way that is authentic to them” “ To summarize
  23. Remember there is nowhere to hide today. What are you doing to better align your culture and people to your brand to deliver the results you need to succeed?
  24. Richard Anderson Contact me for a chat I coach business leaders to drive career and business success through the better understanding of self, brand, culture and leadership strategy. Click here to download the complete article!