Building a brand from the inside out

posted by Scott McKenzie

I mentioned in my last blog that CIPR Inside is hosting an event next week with some great speakers from great brands. I noticed that my friend and colleague Sean has been discussing the event on Linkedin. He has made the link between great brands and the role of internal communications. Essentially building the brand from the “inside-out”

I suspect Sean and I are in violent agreement. We both would view the role of the employee as critical in the development of  your brand. It is your frontline, customer-facing employees who fulfil the promises your marketing makes about your brand. Or indeed not.

I was struck when looking at the line up for the event that Tanith Dodge, Director of HR from M&S is speaking. Now as my H&K colleague and former M&S stalwart Flic will testify – M&S has long been one of my favourite brands. But my trust in it took a hit a week or so back.

One of their employees essentially accused my partner of being a shoplifter. All we were trying to do was exchange a gift that was much too big for our one year old girl. We had a gift receipt and we had the item we wanted to exchange it for.

His attitude was aggressive, confrontational and frankly idiotic. Afterwards I was able to calm down and reflect on the experience. I realised that while everyone is capable of having a bad day it points to a wider issue.

If you think that investing in your brand is about the customer experience then why just leave it to the marketers? Your employees are critical to that experience. So engaging them with good internal comms, great training and fantastic management might be just as – if not more – important than your marketing  activity.

It may also mean that you don’t have dads getting into heated debates with your employees in front of their kids…

Add a comment