Who in your company is really in the driving seat?
If you are reading this, it means that the world did not end last month in spite of an ancient Mayan prophecy, so my thoughts are turning to how to prime my brand for what is looking like a very tough 2013.
Just whose job is the most integral to safeguarding a brand’s future? As marketers, I’m sure many would contend that it is the chief marketing officer/marketing director. Some brands might say it is the head of innovation, whose role it is to create differentiation; others the sales director, who is tasked with growing the lifeblood of your brand.
But maybe it is someone else. Maybe it’s the receptionist on the front desk, the junior in your store, or the temp you have answering the phone.
Think of this: the first person that most customers and important stakeholders will see when engaging with your brand is the person at the start of your value chain - the people who us marketers probably worry about the least. Yet for customers, their impressions will be built on how that individual embodies your brand during any dealings with them.
There is the story of US President John F Kennedy visiting Cape Canaveral in the 1960s and meeting a janitor sweeping leaves in the car park. When asked what his role was, the janitor replied “I’m helping put a man on the moon”. I have a more recent example - a company’s whose business we were trying to win carried out site visits to ourselves and a competitor. Allegedly, on visiting the competitor, the company representative asked five random people he met on his tour what their firm stood for, and got the same answer. We came second on that deal.
So we have embarked on a massive internal marketing campaign where we have gone out to our employees and reminded them what a great company they work for, and given them the words to sum up what makes us great. Regular readers will know that I have an issue with whether internal communication lies within HR or marketing. I am pleased to say that I am leading this particular campaign.