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Continued: Engaged employees are the key to building a brand

  • Article by: DAVID PHELPS , Star Tribune
  • Last update: December 7, 2013 - 5:22 PM

Q: Explain point two, “Your brand is more than a logo.”

A: Your brand is your people. You have an identity, a color palette, but the core of a brand is its people — people behind the scene, people meeting with customers. People are your brand ambassadors. It’s how you talk, the building you’re in, the actions you take.

Q: Point three: “Don’t assume your employees care.”

A: This is a big one. You can’t think that employees will pay attention to just anything you give them. Companies have to treat their employees as customers. Employees can smell B.S. They know when you’re being fake or when your offering the flavor of the month.

Q: Point four: “Challenge employees to own it.”

A: A company’s purpose needs to be figured out at the highest level, but it can’t just be pushed down on employees. Employees need to bring a brand to life in an authentic way. Customers see that. When employees own it, they are the ones who can spread it.

Q: Point five: “Keep it simple.”

A: The simpler it is, the more memorable it is. Just like the best design is simple, people will remember it. It’s about having a simple purpose. If you weren’t around tomorrow, would people care?

Q: What will it take for corporate America to understand the importance of building a brand from the inside out?

A: Customers and employees are equally important in understanding a brand. The human resources department has its world and the marketing department has its world. When the two of those come together, that’s when the magic comes. You can’t have one without the other.

David Phelps • 612-673-7269

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