Monday January 30, 2012
by Ben Buet, Business Development Manager, Purple Cubed
Brand identity is massive; it’s never been more crucial to stand out from the crowd. And it’s not just potential customers who want to know what your brand is… employees too want to know exactly who you are as a company. People no longer blindly select the companies they deal and work with; they need to know why you are better than the rest.
From the outset, learnpurple have worked with amazing clients all around the world to help them create a brilliant employer brand identity. One that sprang to mind was Malmaison and Hotel Du Vin. Back in 2005 we were asked to help two of the UK’s most recognisable hotel brands create a single and clear employee brand. The brief was clear that this wasn’t just about merging the two hotels it into single brand.. It was an exciting challenge for us; however, sucess was achieved by taking the great individual aspects of both hotels and combining them in a unique way, success was achieved.
It used to be such an odd idea – having a brand that your people identify with. These days, however, it’s a must. Having a clear employee brand and identifying the characteristics of your business; it’s about shared values.
This kind of thinking isn’t fluffy people stuff. It’s good business sense. When your brand has an identity it brings strategies to life. Once alive it has personality and warmth and your people will treat your brand like you treat them. If your shared values are communicated well by your people, you will find your customers will treat your company likewise.
The companies who do this most successfully are the ones who keep it simple. It’s pointless having a 100 word statement which no one can remember! Far better to have something every single one of your people can easily understand. It should simply say what you are about, what you stand for and where you are going. Oh… and it should be something you and your people can actually commit to! That’s why the values that make up your identity have to be shared.
There is another reason why ensuring your brand is one your people and customers really share the values of. The rise of social media has made it easier than ever to find out how businesses treat their clients and employees. It’s so important that your people understand what your business stands for and are the best representatives of that to your customers. Social media is a marvellous tool when your brand is being celebrated, it is a lethal weapon when it is being criticised. Put plainly…your people or your customers can tell their 951 followers on twitter exactly what they think, the moment they think it! Scary hey!
This really shows wherever you go in life that brand identity is key. In Jane’s book ‘Purple your people’ there is a whole chapter on making your reputation great. It touches upon some great practical tips such as:
· Defining people promises
· Making sure it is supported from the top
· Managing your reputation
Keeping your identity can truly make a brand. You need to feed it daily by referencing your values in the decisions you make and throughout the way you operate. Annually it helps to review to make sure it is still an accurate reflection of you as an organisation.
Are you a superb brand success story? How is your employee brand communicated?