First Two Book Reviews For The Brandful Workforce

It’s quite exciting publishing my first book. I wanted to share the following two book reviews that came onto Amazon recently. Please add your comments or reviews and don’t forget to join in the discussion online. This is one of the first business books that’s meant to be read from a computer or mobile device as it’s packed with links and entries into discussion.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Heads of Marketing and heads of Human Resources, read and discuss this book!

By J. Shapiro, Executive Director, Talent Analytics, Morgan Stanley on November 18, 2013

OK, I need to be fully transparent. I know Julia and really respect her work. So, I downloaded her book and was expecting to read a well thought out argument on connecting employees to your brand.

What Julia did instead blew me out of the water. .. The book captures the essence of something we all need in organizations: authentic employee relationships that create great customer experiences.

Some examples you may know (Trader Joes) and others were novel. .. like a Stonybrook video about a Dunkin Donuts employees that will make you tear up.

This is a great read for marketers and managers alike, engagingly told.

A Must Read if You’re in the Business of People By Susan LaMotte, Former Leader of Global Employer Brand at Marriott on November 18, 2013

Julia Gometz nails it with her book The Brandful Workforce: from her opening story about working in a hotel in Canada to the direct learnings from her experience at JetBlue. She’s right–it’s not just about the consumer brand and the employer brand. It’s about making the most of your workforce. In my consulting practice we often talk about seeing the value talent has on the bottom line. Julia calls this “brandful.” The book is a delightful read with easy-to-understand anecdotes that are directly applicable to your business–whether you’re a B2B or B2C business. If you’re in the business of people you owe it to yourself to read this book and see how you can make your organization brandful.

To purchase the book on amazon, click the link below:

For more information on The Brandful Workforce visit

Gift Giving At Its Worst-Best

A colleague shared quite an interesting story with me this week about giving a gift to his seventy-five year old mother for her birthday. He had spent some time searching for the perfect gift and finally found it at Nordstrom’s. He had set the perfect plan that fit neatly into his busy schedule. The birthday dinner was at 7:30pm. He would leave the office at the exact time to allow him to stop by Nordstrom’s, pick up the wrapped gift (that he had purchased online) and make it to the restaurant on time. Everything started out well, however when he arrived at Nordstrom’s, his gift was not ready. Not like the Nordstrom’s we all know. Listening to the story, I was in disbelief as this is a company known for exceptional service. And not only was his gift not ready, they didn’t even have the purse he had purchased online, in the store. The staff explained that there had been a glitch with the online service.

I considered to myself whether this would be the first story about bad service at Nordstrom’s that I would hear. Then my colleague proceeded. After apologizing, the staff assured him they would immediately start to look for the purse, not only at other Nordstrom’s but at any other retailer – anywhere they could find it, and to please give them a few moments. Within a short amount of time, one of the staff (and there were a few on the case), found the purse about fifty miles away. They made arrangements for someone to personally drive over, pick up the purse and hand-deliver it (fully wrapped) to my colleague at the restaurant before the end of the meal.

If this isn’t a brandful workforce, what is? I talk about companies having a customer promise that employees can deliver, as being critical to the foundation for building a brandful workforce. This situation made it extremely difficult for the employees to deliver exceptional service, however they never gave up, and they were able to deliver on the company promise, at least in the mind of my colleague.

As we approach the gift-giving season, I’m sure some of us will experience customer service without such happy endings, however I’d like to encourage you to send me your positive stories as they do inspire others and provide the examples necessary to help build  win-win situations for customers and employees during the holidays. The days ahead truly represent opportunities to connect consumers, brands and employees meaningfully.

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The Dangers of Employee Advocacy

Before I get into the dangers, let’s first understand what employee advocacy is. It’s getting employees involved in amplifying your organization’s brand message through their own personal and social networks. They can share company news, success stories and promotions. Many companies have a social media program to engage consumers such as initiatives that drive the number of Facebook fans or Twitter followers. Taking it even further, they can track their most engaged fans and followers and get them involved in their promotions. Now, companies are realizing that the employees, beyond the marketing team, can also bring value to their social marketing strategy.

It sounds great, right? Who wouldn’t want their employees out there advocating for the brand? Well, I don’t want to name anybody, but think for a moment about a company that you absolutely hate, or a place you would never want to work. Now, picture yourself working there as an employee and being told that you now need to participate in an employee advocacy program to promote the products or services. Just think about it. Now, I know this is an extreme example, but I hope it illustrates my point: Not every organization is ready for an employee advocacy program. If they build one prematurely, it may backfire. There are also dangers even if the organization is ready for such a program. For example, it may not genuinely connect with how employees want to promote the brand or what they want to promote. Each employee is different and can uniquely contribute to the advocacy program.  In my book, The Brandful Workforce – How Employees Can Make, Not Break Your Brand, I address these issues and much more. I describe six channels through employees can help the brand; it’s not just about employee advocacy but the entire organization and setting the right business foundation and internal culture that will naturally be excited about an advocacy program.

Does your company have a successful employee advocacy program? I’d love to hear about it. For previous posts on The Brandful Workforce, click here.

Is Your Effort to Involve Employees Backfiring?

What company does not want their employees to promote their brand? Some go about it the wrong way. They jump right into providing the tools and training for employees to be able to shout out their favorite messages about the products and services. Or they launch new employee programs such as internal online platforms where employees can share and create innovative ideas for new products. Sooner or later, they start to wonder why nobody is participating in these new programs. Or even worse, they start to hear buzz from the employees that they don’t like what’s going on. They feel that the company is pushing them to participate in a way they really don’t want to.

Instead of feeling inspired, employees can feel tricked. This situation may indicate that something is missing. That something is what I call, The Brandful Business Basics.  This means companies don’t have what it takes for their employees to get behind their brand and promote it genuinely. The Brandful Business Basics is an integrated combination of a successful business model, a defined customer promise that employees can fulfill, and a transparent employee promise that works. If your employees can answer these questions favorably, then you have what it takes for them to be brandful:  How does my organization make a profit? What is the higher purpose for why my organization exists? Am I genuinely behind this purpose? What do we consistently deliver to our customers and how do we deliver it? Why do I work here and are these reasons being fulfilled?

In a previous webinar that I conducted, of about 300 companies less than 25% of them indicated that they had the Brandful Business Basics – or what they need for their employees to truly get behind the brand. Do you believe your company has what it takes? I’m conducting a anonymous poll. Please click the following link and vote here.

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