More than 6 out of ten companies struggle to infuse brand identity into corporate culture in such a way that leaders and employees understand their ability to impact the brand experience customers expect, according to a Brandworkz study and infographic.
Why Employees Fall Short of Delivering Brand Experience Customers Expect
A Brandworkz / Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Brand Experience study indicates that marketers worldwide face similar internal challenges when it comes to building a strong brand. Fewer than 1 in four marketers – just 37% – said employees in their organization have a good understanding of how their role impacts the brand experience relative to customer expectations. Data from the study reveals three main reasons why:
- Lack of internal alignment with brand promises
- Lack of leadership support, awareness
- Lack of internal brand championship, employee brand education
From the board room to the break room, every employee has an impact on brand experience even if they don’t interact directly with customers. Here are five keys to building a strong brand by ensuring that business leaders and staff understand the brand experience, and the role they play in ensuring customer expectations are met.
Read part one of this two-part article:
Only 37% of Employees Know How to Deliver on Brand Promises
5 Ways to Make Prioritizing Brand Experience Part of Company Culture
1. Be Specific About What You Want
It’s not enough to say that you want to provide great customer service, you must define what that looks like and how the brand experience at your organization is different from your competitors, in ways that matter to your customers and prospects. The more specific your goals, the easier it will be to identify all of the roles within the company that have the ability to impact the customer experience in any way.
This exercise of working backwards from the point of brand experience impact through all of the roles that directly or indirectly have the ability to affect its outcome in and of itself can be an eye opener. Employees and managers that didn’t think they were responsible for customer care might be astonished to see how the way they do their work impacts other employees as well as customers down the line.
2. Be Honest About Where You Are Now
Every organization has room to improve. Based on the specific values, characteristics, descriptive words and goals you want to achieve through the customer’s experience with your brand, where is your organization falling short?
3. Find Brand Ambassadors at Every Level
There should be no level at which your organization does not have brand ambassadors who are educated and empowered to discuss corporate or departmental direction and decisions in light of the brand experience. To build a strong brand where every employee knows how they can impact and improve the customer journey (directly or indirectly) it is especially imperative that leadership is bought in and committed to prioritizing brand experience.
Everyone in corporate leadership must understand the importance of brand experience in differentiating their business from competitors and building a team of managers and employees who will prioritize the customer, no matter how far removed their role is from direct customer interaction. Writing on HeinzMarketing.com, Rick Oppedisano prefaces his article by saying that even the board of directors should care about marketing (but many don’t). From the board room to the break room, every employee should know which of their co-workers have been designated as brand ambassadors and empowered to make changes or champion suggestions throughout the organization.
4. Be Willing to Change… Everything
Once you know where your brand experience “is” relative to where you want it to be, you must build processes and programs that are designed to advocate for the customer at every level of the organization. Some changes will be easy to implement; others will be more difficult. For instance:
- How will you empower brand ambassadors to advocate for the customer?
- How will interdepartmental challenges be handled?
- How will you educate all employees?
- How will you ensure leadership buy-in?
- Once you’ve decided to make changes, how will you deal with managers (or employees) who don’t support it?
- How can you make it safe for everyone to make suggestions and get involved?
- How will your goals change the way that you hire, fire, evaluate employee performance, and take corrective actions?
5. Be Prepared to Stay the Course
Only by making brand experience an inextricable part of your corporate culture, one that is embraced at every level can you build a strong brand. No matter if your organization is a startup or has been in existence for years, the decision to make brand experience a priority is one that you will need to keep top of mind and make an active part of every corporate discussion.