State Employees Can Be Brandful

When you think about the workforce and who’s proud of the services they provide, you may think of employees at Disney, Apple, or Google. But who would think of a federal or state employee? Should their jobs be taken for granted as something they have to do? No.  Any government (city, state or federal) can and should be in the business of delighting taxpayers and putting their money to good use – in a way that motivates employees to continue to provide for their communities as best they can.

For example, the state of Tennessee may be looking to their employees to help promote their entertainment brand. This article mentions that employees are engaging in social media to spread interest in ABC’s show “Nashville,” which may be attracting more business to the state. There’s so much that employees can do on their own initiative, that’s genuine and heartfelt that will support Tennessee’s brand. Large corporations, like those mentioned above, have empowered their staff to create new products and services, and by doing so, have actually been able to meet consumer demand. If governments take similar actions, there’s no telling how much their services and reputations can improve.

And by the way, a state can and does have a brand. In my upcoming book, The Brandful Workforce, I argue that every entity has a brand, whether they know it or not. A brand is simply what people say about you behind closed doors. Kudos to the state of Tennessee for getting in front of its brand, calling it out and involving its employees to push it forward.

To be notified when the book is available for purchase, please sign up at

Storytelling Isn’t Just For Customers

Everyone love storytelling. It’s not just about spreading your brand message. It’s about constantly creating and evolving your brand with those who love it most. And those people should include employees, who routinely go above and beyond to make the brand promise come alive.

One great example that I saw recently was someone who jokingly tweeted from an aircraft as he was boarding his flight: “Hey, @Mortons – can you meet me at newark airport with a porterhouse when I land in two hours? K, thanks. :)”  He was absolutely shocked when he landed and found a guy in a tuxedo greeting him, holding a hot porterhouse steak in his hands. I’d love to hear more of this story from the employees who made it happen and how this story continues to serve the excellent brand, inside and outside of Morton’s.

Read the full text, see the photo and read about other stories here:

In brandful organizations, these kinds of stories are real and frequent, and they fuel the ongoing brand promise internally among employees, as well as externally with customers. They reinforce the reason that everyone is brought together by the unique products and services the organization delivers.

For more brandful workforce blog posts click here.


Be Honest: Do You Have An Honest Culture?

Honesty: The Secret to Success and A Brandful Workforce

The success of an organization is closely related to an honest company culture. A 2010 Corporate Executive Board study found that companies encouraging open and honest feedback among its employees experienced superior shareholder returns over a ten year period, outperforming others by 270 percent. In the study, from 1998–2008, companies with honest feedback among their staff. Impressive numbers, but do they hold up?

To find out, Fierce, Inc., a leadership consulting firm, conducted its own research. The firm surveyed over 1,400 executives and employees, finding that the vast majority–99 percent–preferred a workplace where staff members were able to discuss issues truthfully.

Honesty may make a company a “happier” place to work, but the Fierce survey uncovered an even more important finding–70 percent of respondents believed that a lack of candor impacted their organization’s ability to perform at its best. There were various reasons for this belief, among them the argument that small problems could be identified early on, arming managers with the information needed to make decisions.

But, unfortunately, a culture of open and honest feedback doesn’t occur organically. In a recent article Halley Bock, the CEO and President of Fierce, provided four key tactics to improve your company’s communication and encourage open and honest feedback.

  1. Be Current and Brief. Resolve problems faster by addressing issues as soon as they arise.

  2. Don’t Sugarcoat the Issue. Don’t cushion confrontational situations with compliments or small talk, tell colleagues or employees what’s at stake and review the steps required to address the issue together.

  3. Keep Positives and Negatives Separate. Focus only on the positive or negative when it is warranted and don’t muddle the issues in a “compliment sandwich.”

  4. Use a Social Networking Approach. Enjoy higher employee morale, improved productivity, better retention and increased bottom-line success through candid dialogues between managers, employees and coworkers.

These tips might not be easy to implement, but they’re well worth it. In the end, nurturing a workplace culture of honesty and open communication will not only increase the level of happiness your employees experience in the workplace–it may also increase the value of your brand and your revenue. And what business wouldn’t want that?

This guest post was contributed by Erin Osterhaus of Software Advice, a firm that offers advice to HR professionals as they research new HRIS purchases, and provides reviews and buyers guides of HR software. Erin is the Managing Editor of The New Talent Times, a Software Advice blog offering tips on talent management and leadership skills to those in the HR space. To read Halley Bock’s original article, click here.

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.)

20,000 Clicks From One Employee

One employee can generate 20,000 clicks.

According to the content marketing company, Elevate, employees are able to spread the word, in a way that’s much different than traditional marketing outlets.  Their work shows that just one popular employee, can generate almost 20,000 clicks on facebook and twitter, regarding news about their employer’s brand. Multiply that by many employees and now we are talking about a workforce that is brandful™.

But consider the downside. That was the upside. What if employees are not brandful and not only, not interested in sharing the cool stuff that goes on in their organization, what if they actually wanted to bash it? I recently saw a youtube video of an x-employee discussing the “ins and outs” of worklife and I noticed that her video had 80,000 clicks.

But it’s not just the number of clicks. What happens with those folks who clicked? Do they buy more or less of the product or service? I’m not sure if anyone has an answer to this (if you do, please add to the discussion) but Elevate does report that 92% of customers prefer content shared by someone they know. They may be more likely to believe it and act upon it, coming from someone they know.

It has also been reported that organizations spend seven times more on content distribution than content creation. If every workforce was brandful™ – and truly promoted the products and services – it would seem to have some impact on both the content creation and distribution. But there are many more reasons to consider building and sustaining a brandful™ workforce.  Social media is only one of the six channels in which employees can promote the brand. Please see my other blogs, especially the overview, to learn more. Leave a comment and join in the conversation.

Will Email Be Dead in 5 Years?

Will Email Be Dead in 5 Years?

What does that have to do with a brandful workforce? I stumbled across this video of internal communication professionals, who talk about the need for organizations to open up their communication channels. They say that “technology has blurred the lines between internal and external communication” and organizations can learn from their employees. They mention that social networking could replace email as a main channel of communication, and that the workforce has the power to transform the way we do business. It’s incredible to imagine the potential power of the workforce (for good or bad). The sooner organizations realize this, the more likely they’ll be able to take actions that will help their brand, rather than hurt it. What do you think? Check out the video here – if you don’t have 13 minutes to view it, skip to minute 10:45 to see the ending.

If this is your first time on my blog, please check out my other posts – all on a brandful workforce- where employees promote the brand!

Former Employee Video- Brandful or UN-Brandful? You Decide

I noticed this youtube video with over 80,000 views, from a former employee at Forever 21. It’s a rather long video – over 12 minutes – and I’m not suggesting to view the entire thing, however, I predict that these types of videos will become much more prevalent as the use of online video rises. Those organizations that know how to take care of their employees well, and that have a workforce that truly cares about the brand, will be able to move ahead of those who don’t. Check out the video here.

Please share your comments on whether or not this is brandful. Or share other videos.


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.

Performance Inspired Features Brandful As Guest Blog

My colleagues at Performance Inspired, an Atlanta-based consulting and training firm that helps organizations elevate performance through the science of inspiration (see Forbes America’s 25 Most Inspiring Companies List), has featured the Brandful Workforce approach on their blog this month. A brandful workforce is one that promotes the brand of the organization. The impact that employees are having on the brand is increasing, especially with the rise of social media. The full approach on how you can build a brandful workforce, or be part of one, can be reviewed in my book, The Brandful Workforce. The world of branding is changing. Click here for the blog and to keep up!

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.