Have you ever come across a company where how they promote themselves to customers is at odds with how they work internally? It happens a lot. And it’s getting harder to hide this disconnect from both customers and potential employees.
We believe that if organisations become better connected, it can only lead to improvements in performance, however we choose to measure it. And we believe the way to do this is to focus on aligning brands and cultures. Get those two working seamlessly as one, and success on many levels will follow.
So, how do we go about it? It’s not easy, and it can take a while (depending on how far apart they are when you start), but there are some clear steps to follow.
Bring your C-suite together
It’s important that this type of programme has the buy-in of everyone in your leadership team. And you really want support and input from those at the very highest levels.
Define your purpose
In the immortal words of Simon Sinek, always ‘Start with Why’.
Define your guiding principles
Once you’ve established WHY you’re all in this business, you need to make sure you can articulate HOW you’re going to make it work. In old language, we’re talking values and behaviours. But let’s not make these the same, tired and over-used words on a wall that everyone else uses. These can be a little aspirational but keep them rooted in reality. Which leads us to…
Capture your ‘spirit’
Think about what all of this all actually means in the real world. Make it human. Bring it to life. Use storytelling. What is the essence of your brand, and how does (or should) that present itself every day?
Consider ALL of your audiences
Segment all of the different types of people that interact with your brand, internally and externally. That’s customers, employees and potentials of either – and consider what you want them to think, feel and do.
Establish where you are now
Everyone needs a starting point to measure success against. Look at your current employee experience and customer experience. Identify the ‘moments of magic’ in both.
Re-design the experience
Do this in a way that reflects your brand, in the spirit of your organisation. Make sure they’re consistent across all audience groups and their magic moments. Do it together with your people. Remember, it’s your people who will deliver on all of these experiences.
Coach and empower your leaders to lead in that spirit
Cultivate the culture you want through the actions and behaviours of your senior people. If your managers don’t lead by example, you’ve lost the battle before you’ve even started.
Get campaigning. Communicate. Promote. Celebrate. Do this actively and consciously, always starting internally, with your own people, and then amplifying externally. Encourage your people to help you. Build that brand from the inside out.
This isn’t really a tenth step – it’s important throughout. And it’s critical once you’ve started visible activity. Gather feedback and be prepared to act on it. Be agile. Learn and adapt according to what your people and customers are telling you. Use your intuition too. Actions often speak louder than words, so keep all eyes and ears open and your finger on the pulse.
And the glue that holds all of this together? Great communications. At every stage, communicating clearly and in relevant ways, will ensure you inform, entertain, nudge, reinforce and engage, and build a truly connected organisation. Get in touch here if you’d like to chat more.
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