Are you undermining your brand?

Companies care a great deal for their image. In particular, luxury and prestige brands built up over decades rely on their reputation for their success. To a customer, an established brand name is shorthand for quality and guaranteed satisfaction.

For a brand to work its magic, its reputation must remain untarnished. Customers must be able to repose complete trust in its integrity. Companies therefore work hard to ensure that their customers enjoy a flawless experience in all their transactions.

But image is a fickle thing. Once tainted, the damage can be hard to undo. We live in a world of instant opinion and shared experience. And there is one type of danger companies may not see coming – negative comment by disaffected employees.

Some of the biggest, most celebrated brands on the planet have taken a battering when poor treatment of employees has come to light. A company projecting itself as a force for good in the world cannot afford to neglect the wellbeing of its own people. The dissonance between the customer and employee experience can start to erode trust and respect. It’s an insidious process that can affect any company which trades on its reputation.

To build a truly strong brand worthy of trust, companies need to align their internal and external values to ensure that both customers and employees are served. This means taking time and trouble to engage with employees and create a culture and environment – an internal brand – within which they can thrive.

It means providing an attractive workplace that supports diversity and agile working. It means rethinking assumptions that create unnecessary stress (such as the need for dress codes or a 9am start). It means shifting to a culture where people are trusted to meet their targets in their own way. It means supporting them as they strive to achieve their goals and manage their problems. 

For many companies this is a bold departure from established norms. It challenges decades, if not centuries, of conditioning and entrenched beliefs. Managers manage, workers sit at desks and work. But the new focus on employee wellbeing is backed by research and results. It’s a journey that companies need to undertake if they are to continue to present a smiling face to the world.


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