My colleague relayed an experience she had with a pizza delivery driver who gave her dog a dog biscuit when her husband opened the door. Her family has had pizza delivered from the same place many times in the past and nobody has ever brought a treat for the dog. In fact, nobody delivering food from any restaurant has ever brought a treat for her dog. She was pleasantly surprised and called it a wow factor.
Based on previous history with that pizza place, this isn’t a company-wide branding idea. It’s one employee who chooses to live the brand in a simply, yet extraordinary way. It’s an example of how one employee can make your brand that much more powerful.
Now let’s look at the flip side – that one employee who refuses to live the brand. How much power do you think he or she has over the brand? Research from McClean & Company indicates an employee disengaged with your credit union’s brand, costs a minimum of $10,000 a year in lost customers/members, lack of productivity, extra training and other factors. That’s a lot of negative energy being pumped into your brand from only one person.
How can you ensure that every employee is igniting your brand in a positive way?
- Encourage them
Challenge each employee to develop his or her own way to live the brand (within your financial institution’s brand guidelines, of course). Different personalities have different ways of engaging customers or members. Encourage them to use their strengths or even outside interests to their advantage.
- Share ideas as a team
Sometimes people are fantastic executers but mediocre idea developers. Have your team regularly share the special ways they live the brand daily. Others may be able to do duplicate that effort, or they can use another person’s idea as the foundation for something that makes them more comfortable engaging consumers.
- Monitor employee performance
Some employees don’t do what’s expected unless it’s inspected. Your managers have to monitor their teams. If someone consistently resists living the brand, give them more training, put them in a different position more conducive to their strengths or terminate them. Nobody likes to talk about terminating employees, and hopefully you won’t have to. Just remember, you are in business for your customers or members. Your brand depends on employees who live it willingly.
On The Mark Strategies would love to hear about the unique ways your employees live your brand. Please share your stories by leaving a comment on this blog post.