Customer Surveys Get Kicked by Brandful Employees

Forbes recently released its 2013 Forbes Billionaires list. Believe me, I wasn’t waiting on pins and needles for this to come out. I just happened to hear it on the radio and something caught my attention. No, it wasn’t the fact that this is the first time since 2000 that Warren Buffet was not in the top three. And no, it wasn’t that Amancio Ortega of Spanish retailer Zara, made it to number three for the first time. But it does have to do with Zara, the company he founded.

Zara’s success can be attributed to their supply chain speed and customer-centric approach. Clothes move from concept to design to stores within days. But the real secret seemed to be their pulse of the customers. They listen to their customers and are attentive to their needs. How? Through their employees. While most organizations have a centralized customer team, who usually is in charge of customer surveys and feedback, among other responsibilities, Zara zeros in on employees who contact headquarters daily with customer needs. If someone wants a shirt in a certain color, that information gets transmitted immediately. No waiting for customers to fill out surveys, and with a typical response rate of 5%, would it even be helpful?

How empowering is that for an employee to be able to advocate on behalf of the customer and provide quick results? The entire process is a win-win for the company and for employees.

Kindness Makes You Crave Donuts

I stumbled across a new video this week. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s authentic, meaningful and packed with emotion. It’s certainly brandful. But let’s get our priorities straight. Most importantly, it brings on that donut crave.

Dunkin Donuts is doing something right. Or maybe it’s just that one Dunkin Donuts location.  Or maybe it’s just that one employee that inspired a group of 60 customers to come together and make this video.

I’d like to remind you what being brandful is all about. It’s about working at an organization whose product or service you truly believe in – so much so, that you naturally promote it. In the video, we meet Zamir, a Dunkin Donuts employee who connects to his customers (college students), cares about them and sells them something he loves, with love. Isn’t it interesting that Zamir doesn’t even feel that he’s done anything special? He is simply being himself. And that is what’s so simple about being brandful. It’s knowing yourself well enough to enter into the right relationships that allow you to be you – and be appreciated for that.

One of the comments regarding the video sums it up nicely: Moral of the story, kindness makes people crave doughnuts, which means that guy [Zamir] probably works in the perfect spot.

Now, I think I’ll go out and get some donuts… my local Dunkin!

(If you haven’t read other articles in my blog, please check them out and let me know what you think. Thanks for reading and joining in the discussion.)

PetSmart – Brandful Example

I continue my hunt for examples of brandful employees and today, I found another great one! The title of this Forbes article really aligns with the entire essence of what it means to be brandful: “How Just One Great Employee Can Make the Brand.” Getting a glimpse of the employee, Mike Miller, through the article, validates my brandful recruiting model on how to bring brandful employees into your organization. Wouldn’t you just assume that any employee at a pet store, should be a pet owner? Sure, then why don’t all teachers have children or plan to have children? Or why don’t folks who work for an airline love traveling? Or folks that work at electronics stores, own a lot of electronics? It seems so common-sensical (is that word?) but all too often, I find employees who are completely out of touch with the core business they are delivering.

Anyway, back to Mike Miller, PetSmart and the article. Mike, of course, owns a dog, and is 100% passionate about pets and helping them…and I mean genuinely. This is what I would call a good “brand match.” Mike is getting paid to do what he loves. You don’t need to incentivize Mike – like give him a $25 gift card if he sells a certain amount of products. There’s no price you can pay someone that will improve his performance, if what he does comes from his heart. Mike clearly does what he does because of his passion. And this translates to his customers, one of whom, wrote this article. Click here to read it. If this is your first time on my site, please join me in helping employees and employers to become more brandful – and truly express their brand authentically.

ClearVision Optical – Brandful Example

My hunt for brandful employees -employees who promote the brand of the organization- continues! This time, I found a fantastic video – 100% authentic- from the interns at ClearVision Optical. They sing “Hire Me Maybe,”a parody inspired by Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me, Maybe.” Watch it here and please answer me: What intern wouldn’t want to work at this company?

If this is your first time on my blog, welcome to the Brandful Workforce – where employees work FOR the brand, rather than against it. The world of branding is changing, in a big way, and the voice of the employees is more crucial than ever before. Learn more about how to build a brandful workforce or become part of one, in my new book – The Brandful Workforce.

LinkedIn Gets Brandful

I’m on the hunt for as many examples of organizations who are going “brandful.” This means that employees are promoting the brand. Many folks do not realize the huge impact that employees can have on the branding of the company. Today I found that LinkedIn, the well-known social media site that employees over 3,000 folks around the globe, started a contest to get its employees involved in the brand. Under the brandful workforce model, stage 2 – getting employees involved, I talk about employee programs such as contests. (For more information on my model, please see my book – The Brandful Workforce.) Already LinkedIn has received submissions from employees. If you have other examples, please send them my way! Click here for the article.

A Small Business Leverages Brandful™ Employees

I saw this article on twitter about a hair salon in Seattle, whose employees post weekly videos talking about their work. This is branding at its best, especially for small businesses. It can also be considered employee blogging or using social media to improve the brand of the company. It’s quite engaging and not only draws in more customers, but keeps the employees excited about working there. They enjoy being brandful because  they are doing what they love. They are a great brand match for their employer.

Click here to read the article.