The proverb states that charity begins at home. What’s the use of trying to be a big champion in all the causes to save the world, if your own home and family are in disarray?
The marketing proverb should state that Branding begins inside your own organization. The digital transformation has seen a lot of organizations adopting a customer centric vision in order to build customer equity without taking the necessary measurements to protect one of the biggest advantages brand equity brings to an organization: Attracting and retaining high quality employees. It’s true that it doesn’t matter how you perceive the brand internally, at the end your brand resonance is measured by the way customers perceive you. It is also true that these concepts (customer equity and brand equity) are not mutually exclusive, on the contrary, internal values and clear communication of these strategies must be adopted and communicated effectively in order to align everyone in the organization. True leadership at all levels of an organization must value the high quality employees the brand has attracted, and evangelize from within. True leadership cares and understands the value of retention. True leadership rewards top performers, trains them and provide them with resources to grow. True leaders surround themselves with critical thinkers and not just people that applaud their every move. They should welcome dissenting ideas and innovation will follow.
Top performers will understand the importance of maintaining brand equity and defend the vision of a customer centric organization. Managers at all levels of the organization must be in the outlook for those so-called leaders that are creating barriers to top performers. At the end, they are in the organization as a consequence of the brand equity, and should be considered part of the Return on Marketing Investment. Although not easy to include in your financial reports, losing a top performer is a very expensive transaction.
Branding is an effort that should start from within the organization. All employees should not only preach the message, they should believe in it.
In order to build a brand that truly resonates, organizations should add weight to employee equity to their branding strategies. Put the house in order, allocate resources internally to train everyone on branding and culture, align managers and employees at all levels to your efforts, and resonance will follow. Empathy in marketing is the word of the moment. According to Econsultancy, Brands are using it to enhance their marketing efforts. Brands can’t fake empathy, the organization must standardize truly caring as part of their culture in order to succeed, remain relevant, and sustainable.
STATUS: In a world of performance, image and exposure, some may fake the first two until they make it. Once they reach the stage of exposure, the game is over. Be genuine. Lead your organization to exceed your own expectations.