Establishing a clear brand is about more than setting standards, it’s about delivering a consistent experience. Having a clear brand communicates to potential customers what they can expect about the quality of your product or service from the first impression. While some may consider branding to be customer-centric, it also plays a major role in communicating to employees the expectation of their work.
In industries like retail, staff and management are constantly faced with challenges that require quick decisions, like customer service or prioritization. To guide employees through tough decisions, employees rely on the values and beliefs of their brand’s promise. Slogans like Marriott’s “Quiet luxury. Crafted experiences. Intuitive service” or BMW’s “The Ultimate Driving Machine” give employees a mental picture of what their organization does and what it means to the customer. While the value of a clear brand offers tangible benefits, it continues to be a major challenge for organizations in all industries.
Brand Value in Internal Communication
A recent study by Gallup looked at how well companies communicated objectives and expectations to their employees. Of the 2.2 million employees and 550 organizations observed, only 50 percent of employees felt they had an understanding what is expected from their work1. Those in management roles were also equally unclear on what was expected from them2. For some organizations, having 50 percent of employees not understand the expectations can lead to poor organizational performance.
Multi-unit enterprises are especially vulnerable to dissonance between their brand promise and the behaviors of their employees. It can be difficult for information to flow effectively between the many levels, locations, and roles that make up a multi-unit enterprise. Unless employees are regularly interviewed, which is costly and time consuming, evaluating the degree of dissonance can be challenging. So how can an enterprise better reflect its brand’s promise?
The key to developing consistency within an enterprise is access to information. When communication is done well things like changes in direction, emerging challenges, and opportunities are available to stakeholders.
Realizing Your Brand Promise
Many enterprises conduct performance evaluations to determine how well employees know their brand. However, the results of these evaluations are after-the-fact and largely relevant to corporate-level management. To establish a clear brand promise in a large organization, information about how well a store meets corporate objectives must be available in real-time.
A Store Relationship Management (SRM) platform, like CoEFFICIENT®, can track key performance indicators in relation to goals and objectives set by corporate. Stores can also collaborate with district managers with built-in communication tools. With store performance indicators and communication channels all within a single platform, corporate can directly communicate strategies to align stores with its brand.
Brand Vision Meets Store Execution
Delivering a consistent brand experience starts with interconnecting the enterprise for effective communication of objectives, goals and strategies. When employees understand what’s expected of them and how their behaviors create value, the store will better align itself with its brand.
SRM platforms like CoEFFICIENT are designed to scale the advantages of effective communication in multi-unit enterprises. Solutions like this offer real-time performance tracking, information about objectives, and communication tools in a central platform to take on emerging challenges and opportunities. Interested in seeing how an organization used CoEFFICIENT to deliver a cohesive brand experience? Read our Infiniti Case Study now.
1. Jim H. “Gallup’s Advice”. Gallup. http://www.gallup.com/opinion/gallup/185921/obsolete-annual-reviews-gallup-advice.aspx ↩
2. Ibid. ↩