Brand building is not just for marketers

We have all at some point of our lives stood in line at a supermarket, and witnessed someone yelling to the employee behind the register. Probably for some ridiculous reason, which the employee can’t even influence, for example milk being more expencive compared to another store. If the employee took all the mean words without blinking an eye, and with a smile on his face, he is actually building brand to the supermarket he works in.cashier

According to an article I read, employees have an actual influence in brand building. Employees can be so called ambassadors of the brand. They can represent the brand beyond their job description. I personally just noticed that I actually do that. I work at a fast food restaurant, and whenever there is for example a campaign going on, I advertise it to my friends. When choosing a place to eat, we often go to the place I work at because of my personnel discount. Again, I’m bringing in more customers beyond my job description, which is just taking in peoples orders.

Employees can be motivated to build the brand, in other words being better employees. If service somewhere is good, we are more likely return there or recommend it to others. I was shopping at Victoria’s Secret in New Jersey last winter. At least five employees came to me asking if I need any help, telling me their name and saying that I don’t have to hesitate asking any help from them. I was amazed; how were they all so nice to me?  As I was paying for my stuff,  I was asked, did anyone help me to find what I needed. I then realised, that Victoria’s Secret had figured out the value of good customer service. I believe that the employees are at least partly getting paid by commission.

In the article it said, that a human resources executive said, that employees provide 25% of the value of the brand. That is quite a lot, so maybe paying employees a little extra for being better customer server is worth it.

Sources:

Ebscohost. Employee contributions to brand equity.

http://web.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.metropolia.fi/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=826ccfaf-ac2f-43f2-8921-c34feb16f445%40sessionmgr4005&vid=6&hid=4209

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7 Responses to Brand building is not just for marketers

  1. pauliinaluukkainen says:

    The employees of a company are most certainly ambassadors for the company and the brand. They represent it at that point of their working time and it’s very important how they react and take care of customers. As a customer servant myself as well, with my presence and skills my goal is to make that person come back again and build a relationship between the customer and the brand. And every time I’m the customer of course I want to be treated as well as I would treat people because it would make me come back again. But unfortunately I have noticed here that for example in our luxury department store Stockman, the quality of the service has decreased and it makes me resent going in there and asking for help. So most definitely employees should be valued more if they do the “branding” right.

  2. saralm95 says:

    Employees Play a key role for sure. I actually go and buy some stuff in the place that I have been treated well or the places that we used to go. For example, the barber shop of your neighborhood. Moreover, if I go to buy clothes and no one in the store says “hello”, “welcome” or “hi” at least and instead they didn’t even look at you, your perception of that brand or store will decrease a little bit most likely.
    In another blog test from a classmate, It is said that Starbucks is expensive for the quality but also for the customer service, that makes you feel important for them, even part of them.

    If I buy coffe early morning and the employee treats me well and asks me how am I or they say: “have a nice day!” They will make me smile and I will go again if I can.

  3. alix35 says:

    I agree with your article and I like it. Indeed employees are really important element for a brand because they reflect the brand image. When we enter in a shop, that is because we are interested by the brand, product… But, we are not obliged to buy something, is not because we enter that we want to buy. With employees, we buy. That’s why it’s important that there are friendly, nice, helpful, in keeping with the spirit of the brand. If we enter in a shop where employees don’t care about you, unfriendly, unhelpful, it pushes the customer’s buying process.
    Moreover, a study that has been carried early January by Hopscotch-ViaVoice Observatory reveals that 15% of French employees talk about their enterprise on internet. If the percentage seems small, it still represents nearly 2.5 million people in the private domain. So, a brand need to train employees to generate a positive view of the brand and thus get new customers and retain them.

  4. pao56 says:

    Yes for sure employees have an important role in the company, if in front of you, you have a person not lovable you don’t want buy something. After that when you say that 5 persons came to asking you, I think it’s too much. For me when you go in a shop, employees ask you once, have to be next to if you have need help.
    But I think people are waiting less depending of the brand. It is not the same thing if you go to Hermes than McDonald’s.

  5. Jflory says:

    Great insight into the value of employees as brand ambassadors. This key point is often overlooked and can be a valuable asset in branding and creating a company culture. Keeping employees well informed of (and even involved in) company decisions can have a huge impact on the front line customer experience. Educated, well-trained, and satisfied employees can help quickly diffuse potentially problematic customer situations and avoid escalating them into PR nightmares for the company and brand down the line.

    It would be interesting to explore further how different brands attract a different caliber of employee and how that can help or hurt a brand. People working in a high-end retail shop may very well be unlikely to pursue a job at McDonalds and vice versa. That’s an impact of the brand. After all, birds of a feather flock together.

  6. jonitapio says:

    This was a great post! I have thought the same thing many times earlier. I work in a supermarket with many other people and when I am working, I constantly think that what kind of image I am giving to customers about the company I work in. I see two problems in building a brand via employees. First is that company directors don’t know that well how huge role employees play in building a brand. Second one is that employees don’t know that they are building company’s brand while they are working and sometimes also in their spare time.

  7. I truly believe in your blog post topic as I feel many companies only focus on their marketers to build a brand. Brand building does not grow from conformist employees. I believe each individual needs to determine how he or she can deliver on the corporate brand promise in a way that’s unique, leveraging the corporate identity with what ignites them and makes them excel in their work environment.

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