Written by Katy Goshtasbi
Posted on: May 7, 2018
I was driving the other day and passed a billboard advertising for a company. Not only did the words on the billboard not make any sense, the picture didn’t make any sense to me and neither did their “ask” (we call it “call to action” in the marketing world). The only thing I remembered from the billboard was the company name, which made me remember the last interaction I had with one of their employees. My interaction had not gone well. The employee had dropped the ball, in my opinion. Is this effective brand communication?
It happens all the time. A company pays a ton of money to a public relations firm and starts communicating/marketing to us. The company figures if they beef up their communications, then they will have great visibility and a great outcome- more revenues. The results are usually anything less than stellar.
Companies confuse effective brand communication with launching random messages to the public. Communicating your company brand outwards without first focusing internally does not give you the results you want.
What am I talking about? Stop and think: when was the last time anything sold well when the internal foundation of WHO was selling it was not stable? The “WHO” is your employees!
Most companies want to ignore any issues that deal with employees because it seems too touchy feely, too complicated and too mushy. The executives often tell me, what does our employees have to do with a bad quarter? They often want to attribute it all to poor strategy or an operational glitch. Maybe. Nine times out of ten, I’ve found it is due to employees not having an effective brand.
Where should you start when developing an effective brand for your employees?
Start by taking an internal audit of how the employees are working together. Here’s a list of what to survey and correct for EACH employee:
- Does the employee feel a sense of pride and responsibility in their job?
- Does the employee understand how they, in their job, fit into the overall brand purpose of your company?
- Does the employee feel a sense of community and oneness with their colleagues and superiors?
- Does the employee natural strengths and talents match up well to their job description?
- Does the employee feel mired in process to the point of paralysis and ineffectiveness?
If you are unsure as to ANY of these answers, then I can promise you your brand communication to the outside world will NOT work. I can also promise you this is likely the very reason your company is in a tailspin. It may not feel like your company is in a tailspin. My hope is that it is not. However, employee issues outlined above creep up on management until it is too late to cure. Lack of internal employee brand development does not allow for effective outward brand communication. In turn, growth is stunted.