Any company large or small or government entity, non-profit or educational institution requires investment in employee relations as a front line strategy for brand implementation. Boy that’s a lot of jargon, what do I mean? Train your employees to “buy in” to showcasing the brand in everything they do.
Too often I’ve seen the business owner, the educational department or the non-profit fail to connect to staffs, who in turn, don’t consistently or effectively share the message of the organization. It’s not enough for the owner to go through extensive brand training or the leadership to determine a new direction for the company, if they aren’t in turn getting employees up to speed on the plan. This isn’t talking about transparency in operations; while I think that’s commendable, not the point. If you decide as a company that you are going to provide a service and do an ad campaign, you’d better be able to make it true down to every employee. Some examples:
Several years ago Harrah’s casino once did an ad campaign for its properties trying to copy Disneyland by suggesting they had the “happiest employees”. Without even knowing the number of employees whether in the dozens or in the hundreds, I know this campaign failed. Disneyland works diligently with significant investment in employee training and empowerment to make Disneyland the happiest PLACE. And you know, they don’t hit that mark every time. No way could Harrah’s guarantee EVERY employee was happy; you can’t control people. Some people are never going to be happy; you certainly can’t pay them to be. Life happens. And when you make a promise like that, someone just wants to prove it wrong. So they can.
A local sandwich company is promoting “freaky fast” delivery. Can’t live up to that. Even if they went to the effort of having cars on hand at the shop, an extraordinary number of deliverers available, and a limited radius from the sandwich making location, they can’t do freaky fast. Cars break down. Traffic happens. Construction happens. You know where this goes, can’t be done. And what empowerment would it take for employees to commit to making “freaky fast” happen? That could be a lawsuit if an employee takes risks and at a minimum gets a traffic citation and hopefully doesn’t seriously damage other vehicles or people trying to fulfill the campaign promise.
Your employees can’t treat the brand as if the business were a pack of pick up sticks.