In this series of three articles, I discuss what I mean by brand complacency. A topic that I hope you find interesting because many company owners don't see this danger until it's too late. We can even be complacent about the risks of complacency!
We start with Employee Retention and Recruitment.
In business, brand complacency should be avoided at all costs as it can lead to a loss of key individuals and a failure to attract bright, ambitious people.
Avoiding the Brand Complacency trap.
Start by treating your employees as your best advocates.
Building a strong brand through improved communications with your employees is one of the most effective ways to grow any company. But sadly many SME's (and some enterprises) fail to acknowledge this fact.
Here's one very common scenario that can be very costly if there is a lack of investment in building a reliable and authentic brand:
"Losing your much-valued employees to competitors who are growing a brand that is more attractive to bright and ambitious people".
Never take your employees for granted. If they think that your company is in a rut compared to others with stronger brands, then they may feel the same about their career opportunities.
And with the influence of social media and websites that are beautifully crafted the threat of losing your brightest people is higher now than it has ever been.
By investing in your brand and articulating your vision for the future, you will stay relevant to your employees, your clients and the market that you operate within.
What is your promise?
Brand complacency is often the reason why companies struggle to attract the very best talent for their business. The way companies focus on brand promises towards customers should also be implemented towards attracting an often-underrated group of customers that is: job seekers.
Many studies* indicate that the working environment, company culture, reputation and use of technology have a significant influence on the quality of candidates that are attracted to that business. It's certainly not all about the remuneration on offer.
As for that, all-important 'positive gut feel' about staying with or joining a company, it often comes down to the strength of the brand. You will unlikely hear it articulated in that way, but investing in your brand can and does avoid the upheavals caused when your best people decide to leave.
"Success in business is all about people, people, people. Whatever industry a company is in, its employees are its biggest competitive advantage. As Virgin Pulse CEO Chris Boyce said recently, "They're the ones making the magic happen – so long as their needs are being met."
SIR RICHARD BRANSON, FOUNDER, VIRGIN
You do not need to cross the seven seas to find the best brand ambassadors. They are your employees. A study from Gallup (January 2017) reveals that only 41% of American employees know what their company stands for and what makes its brand different from their competitors.
As an employer, you need to:
Define a clear mission and brand values, which give a sense of purpose to your employees.
Strengthen your internal branding to transform workers into true brand ambassadors.
Connect your employees with your external brand to ensure they understand the company mission.
Treat your brand as your most valuable asset. Use it to attract and retain the brilliant people that your business needs to survive and grow. This action will save you a lot of stress and cost in the long run and will be instrumental in taking your company to the next level.
In part 2 of our 'Brand Complacency' posts, we look at Client Loyalty.