The Company Creed Your Brand Needs
This is blog post number four in an eight-part series that unpacks the key questions we encourage brands to ask when evaluating their brand relevancy.
In this article, we address: “How do employees feel about the company behind closed doors?”
One of my favorite things about the holiday season is receiving snail mail from the people I love. I save each and every holiday card, sticking the faces of our friends and family right on the fridge, where we can marvel at how much they’ve grown and changed all year long.
My daughters get extra interested in the mail this time of year. And when we’re watching out the window for the mail truck on a rainy or snowy day, I think extra hard about the often unrecognized work of the USPS. Somewhere along the line, I’m sure we’ve all internalized the unofficial creed of US Postal Workers:
Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.
That’s quite a noble cause! And one they’ve unofficially held for more than 100 years (the phrase was originally inscribed on the New York City’s General Post Office Building in 1914).
From where I sit, it’s also a beautiful branding move. It paints the public service of delivering mail as a heroic act, conjuring images of Paul Revere or the urgent message couriers of the Middle Ages.
But I wonder if the mail carrier who serves my house would agree with that creed? Does she see herself as a loyal soldier in this heroic act?
In other words, does the internal brand of the USPS match this external one?
Two Brands Too Many
The customer is always right, but so, it seems is the employee. Because a brand these days is not just based on customer perception, but on the perceptions of everyone, including employees, investors, and management. In fact, there’s a chance that any given company is actually presenting two brand faces: a product brand as well as an employer brand. The closer they are to one another, however, the stronger your brand will be.
While the US Postal Service has established a strong story of hardworking heroes externally, a recent survey by CareerExplorer found postal workers rank their happiness at just 2.4 out of 5 stars which puts them among the bottom 3% of careers. They’ve also had to fight throughout history for wage increases, even striking for eight days in 1970.
Why We Care
It’s nearly common sense, but study after study has shown a correlation between happy, engaged employees and happy customers (and as a result, increased sales!). On the other side of the coin, we’ve found it’s nearly impossible to hide an unhappy or uninspired workforce with even the best brand marketing.
What your team believes about your brand will radiate out into the marketplace, good or bad.
Here are a few follow-up questions to help you measure your brand perception, both internally and externally:
- Does your employer brand—what attracts employees to your company—emulate the same positivity as the product brand you advertise to customers?
- Do your mission, vision, and value statements support your brand; are they truly ingrained in every aspect of your business?
- Are your employees proud to work for your company—is there a motto they might use to describe their experience when you’re not in the room?
The answers may help you identify gaps between your product brand and your employer brand, and between you and your employees.
Need help digging into these questions? We are experts in helping manufacturers identify what makes their brand most relevant to their customers. We’d love to talk.