Publix deli employee
November 1st, 2016

Your People Make Up Your Brand

I was in the elevator going to the parking garage of the local Publix, when a woman on the elevator struck up a conversation with me. She raved about how nice the people in the Publix were and what great customer service they had. Another woman on the elevator chimed in, “That’s what their brand is all about.” What a powerful statement.

Wouldn’t you like to have your customers think of your brand so positively?

You probably don’t often have the opportunity to speak face-to-face with your customers, but there is a trickle-down effect from the top to the bottom. It’s not enough to have a great, thoughtfully designed product, you need to also have a positive brand experience coming from the people at your company. The customer service representative on the phone handling customer inquiries. The vendors who deal with your buyers. The vice president. The custodial staff. Every person at your company has an opportunity to convey your brand message.

That’s because people talk. A lot. They text. They chat. They tweet. They share. Your brand image can be conveyed positively or negatively with every syllable.

So, what are ways you can reinforce your brand message to your associates and get favorable mentions? Here are six to get you started.

  1. Make Sure Your Message is Right. You want the message that gets shared about your brand to be the right message. So make sure that your brand message is distinctive, consistent, and meaningful, and conveys your brand’s value.
  2. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. The more often your message is conveyed, the greater the likelihood that it will take root, grow strong, and blossom.
  3. Stay True to Your Brand. If you want to be known for quality, don’t use the cheapest commodity to produce your widget. If you want to be known for no-hassle returns, make returns easy. Your associates will pay attention to see if the actions of the company support the words of your brand message.
  4. Communicate. Make sure the brand message is communicated company-wide through multiple channels so your associates become ambassadors for your brand at all customer and consumer touchpoints.
  5. Provide Support for Your Troops. An internal “brand experience” can be invaluable for showing your associates that you are looking out for them. Professional development offerings, bonuses, extra time off, special events, or updated equipment are just some ways to make your associates feel more appreciated. Those good experiences often lead them to say good things about your brand.
  6. Listen. Be open to suggestions and genuinely take them into consideration. Consider Google or Virgin as good examples of companies that listen to what their employees say through their various programs. People who are listened to feel more valued, and that translates into added value for your company.

The associates at Publix convey the great customer service for which their brand is known. Make sure your associates are energized to do the same for your brand.

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