This article focuses on how each employee is able to understand and express your brand. Do you have a dialogue where direction and differentiation are clearly communicated and understood?
It is about being able to answer three simple questions
The most logical and fundamental questions which companies think are difficult to answer also form the starting point for describing the company’s identity. Without such a description, the storytelling becomes challenging, and it also becomes virtually impossible to build a culture which employees are proud of and which customers want to be part of.
- Where are we coming from?
- Why are we here?
- Where are we heading?
These are three extremely fundamental questions which require a lot of thought before the answers can enable you to both differentiate yourself and mediate an attractive story to your employees. Everyone has a history, but surprisingly few use it as valuable capital. It is this history which sets you apart from all your competitors and which represents one of the very few resources which are truly positioning. Whether you like it or not, most qualities that you possess are hygiene factors. You must work incredibly hard on these factors in order to be competitive, but it is the way in which you are screwed together and the way in which you communicate that differentiates you.
Waffle irons and impact-absorbing soles
The story of Nike is an excellent example of ‘employee branding’. Nike’s story began in Eugene and Coos Bay, Oregon around 46 years ago. During the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Nike went straight for the throat of the German home favourites, Adidas. The difference in the marketing was however striking. Adidas sold running shoes, while Nike sold “Running”. When they came up with the world’s first impact-absorbing sole, they did not communicate the functional innovation itself, but introduced ‘Rock star running’. They played on feelings. And pride.