Employees Personify the Brand
In his blog, From the Marketing Trenches, Jonathan Dampier reinforces the critical role employees play in presenting a company’s brand to the public. And he laments the fact that there are organizations out there who still don’t get it. (As consumers, we all have our horror stories about these companies.)
With the best intentions and creativity, a company can put out a spectacular marketing message; i.e., the brand promise. But if the customer’s experience – as actually delivered by employees – is inconsistent or conflicts with the company’s marketing message, who are customers gonna believe: the marketing or their own experience?
That’s why organizations need to be reminded that employees ARE the brand. As Len Berry, marketing professor at Texas A&M, so aptly put it: “the brand walks around on two feet.”
Another great example of how staff can serve as a critical differentiator. In today’s highly commoditized world, the only thing that competitors can’t copy is the relationship your staff has with your customers. Thanks, Olivier. Keep us posted on the final results.
That’s absolutely true. I am working with a retail client right now, and we are conducting some interesting tests in customer service experience. On the one hand, we give customers a relatively neutral treatment. On the other, we have the salespeople greet them with big happy welcomes, keep their distance but offer their help, and give them subjective advice on products they are looking at.
The results aren’t in yet, but the trend so far for the second group shows a marked increase in time spent in the store, time actually touching or interfacing with the product, total dollar sales, and impulse purchases. All that’s missing now is data on whether or not a) their confidence in the store’s service will increase. (More frequent visits, familiarity with specific salespeople, higher dollar purchases, referrals, etc.)
The store carries the same stuff as their competitor and tend to be a tad more expensive. They are also a little more out of the way… but the competitor’s sales staff is unfriendly.
Interesting project. It looks like, in this case, the employees truly ARE the brand.