Hello Rachel! That is greeting I receive upon entering the Starbucks at 12th and Walnut almost every time. I’m asked if I want the usual; and I say yes with a smile. If Denise is working, she always asks how I am doing, and how “mom and dad are doing.” (Keep in mind she’s never met them.) I was never a much of a Starbucks fan, preferring Mom & Pop coffee shops to the coffee giants, but this particular Starbucks won me over.
Why? Because the employees do a great job of creating the feel of a neighborhood coffee shop…the intended Starbucks brand experience. I look forward to those morning visits; and I’ve become a loyal Starbucks customer as a result. That’s where the true value of a well-planned brand experience pays off…customer loyalty and retention.
Employees are not just people punching a clock day in and day out, especially in the age of social media. Rather, employees are brand ambassadors and powerful representations of what the company stands for, both online and off. So how do you help your employees make a positive impact on your brand?
Identify and Communicate Company Mission: Having a clear brand strategy for your company helps employees stay consistent and focused. For Starbucks, it’s “to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.” The employees I interact with, on a weekly basis, truly embody this.
Cultivate Company Culture: Establishing a positive, productive workplace culture that focuses on your brand will have a direct effect on whether or not your employees are happy and engaged, or unfulfilled and disconnected. If an employee feels like they have a distinct purpose, they are more likely to take pride in the job they do and ultimately deliver a great customer experience.
Keep Communication Constant: One of the best ways to retain something is to have it reinforced. Consistent messaging and communication about your brand’s ideals and values (and how employees are expected to embrace it) is a great to ensure success for internal brand adoption.
Employees are a direct reflection of your brand, and at the end of the day, good employee relations mean a good bottom line.