Building a brand promise
Is it important to have a brand promise? Does anyone care? Well in my view it is critical to any business to have what actually could be described as the core – the starting point – the ethos of what every action you take rests upon. If I may explain…
A brand promise is the very essence of how you do business; how you treat your customers and how you treat your staff. It touches every part of how you commercialise yourself and how you are perceived in the market. It should be the very essence of your business. So where do you start?
Well the first rule is that this brand promise cannot and should not be created by one person. Every team member should be involved and everyones input should be valued. And I mean everyone… from senior management to the foot-soldiers, everyone should have their say and their opinion listened to.
The best place to start is with 4 core value points
These ‘people’ are perhaps the most important starting point as they are your team. Ask yourself how you want to be perceived as a business to potential employees. What values do your business have that ensures you attract the very best people? Do you empower your team? Do you have a culture of openness that encourages discussion and allows each team member a voice and an environment where they are sure it will be heard? Do you embrace training and staff improvement? You may not, your business could have a management culture where people simply do the job the were employed to do. If you are in management, ask your team in an environment where they feel comfortable to be able to respond honestly, how they feel about their job roles. This can be very revealing.
In my role as an consultant, I have unfortunately found myself working in hotels where the management is that of dictatorship. The owner/manager often sits in an office far removed from the team, usually doesn’t know the names of the people they employ and frankly cares very little for any of them. These employees should be ‘grateful’ to have a job! They are often bullied, undermined and without exception, under-valued. There is no open-door policy or a place where staff can actually voice an opinion but with this culture, their opinion would never be valued anyway. There is no emphasis put on training or development, in fact usually the opposite. Management are frightened that if they invest too heavily in training, that the team members will take all that training and move on. But isn’t that the very opposite what should happen? Frankly these businesses are in a race to the bottom, but there is always the chance to change.
Shouldn’t we offer an environment where staff feel part of the team? valued? listened to? appreciated? Wouldn’t that empower your team to grow and develop? Wouldn’t you, the owner get the very best out of everyone?
As a business, you want to keep staff not lose them, so how do you do that? Well start with thinking through a brand promise. Go back to the start and ask yourself how you as a business would like to be perceived to new starts? How does the culture of your business actually attract the very best talent? How do you get the very best out of the team that you have in place?
Do not be afraid to change. As you may have read in my blog last week, my ethos is to always employ people who are better than me; that bring specialist knowledge to the team and who keep the business moving forward.
Next week we will look at the second link in the chain… customers, but for now:
- look at your current management structure and be honest
- is the way you currently manage your team actually working?
- are you attracting the best talent that you can
- are you retaining staff
- ask your team (anonymously if possible) what they think of your current structure and how it could be improved
- do you offer an environment where your staff can be listened to and valued?
- do you offer training so your staff can feel invested in and developed?
- are you willing to listen to criticism and learn from it?
Reviewing how your business is perceived internally can fundamentally help you assess how you are perceived externally i.e. by your customers.
Be ready and willing to change. Be the very best employer you can be…
(and for all things revenue, firstname.lastname@example.org)