Top Brandful Companies

Future Brand Winners Are Brandful

Top Brandful Companies Coming Summer 2016

Leaders work long and hard to build winning brands. The challenge is to constantly and meaningfully engage customers and employees as their interests change quickly. Is your corporate success going to last? Some of the top brands of today may not be around tomorrow. But brandful brands just might be.

Since launching the Brandful Workforce – a roadmap for getting employees behind the brand, not against it – we began to see that brandful also has incredible value for others. Not just employees, but customers, vendors, contractors, investors and others can get actively behind the brand. And that’s what a brandful company is all about. The concept is simple: Every organization wants folks to love and promote what they’re all about.  If you agree with that, then you agree that every organization should be brandful.

Some companies that have been named in focus groups as brandful include: Apple, Google, Costco, Tesla, Patagonia, Zappos and smaller brands like the optical company, Warby Parker or Union Square Hospital Group (founders of Union Square Café and Shake Shack, which just had a successful IPO.). But are they really brandful? What value does this bring? Who else could be added to this list? Look out for our upcoming social media research that is reviewing hundreds of brands to score and rank them according to the level of overall brand advocacy. We will be reporting the top scores and reporting what makes these companies brandful and how the measures can introduce unique insights into current and future business success.

Some believe that companies that make the Top Brandful Companies list may be the same names on other lists. But that won’t be the case. The differentiator here is that brandful companies are not just about engaging the customer or employee, but they involve everyone connecting meaningfully with the brand. This is not only about being a top place to work, or having the best customer service or most engaged audience – it’s a combination of all of it. When a company is brandful- there is a contagious passion for what the company offers and what the company stands for. Brandful companies have both employee and customer brand fans actively spreading positive messages.

Yes, it’s a high hurdle, but hey- it’s 2015. It means you have to get everything right. Not just your external branding, advertising positioning, but your internal operations, leadership and culture. It’s a holistic approach that is timely because our millennial generation is already onboard with it. They want more transparency, authenticity and meaning as both consumers and employees. Brandful companies provide that. They also drive real content. You don’t have to make up the advertising stories, when you can use the real ones. When I worked in the airline industry, we used to joke that television drama was nothing compared to real life.

Before launching the results, we can share two opportunities that the brandful framework presents.

1)   It provides a more relevant and valuable approach to engagement.

When a company is brandful, it means folks are actively promoting the brand.  There’s more of an action involved in the definition of brandful, than with engagement, which is mostly attitude or opinion. Brandful companies are living out their brand, whereas a company with highly engaged customers and employees – it’s not as clear what they are engaged to do.

The process of measuring engagement and then trying to move the needle can be cumbersome. It typically calls for a survey that measures attitudes, and respondents are asked items such as “Would you recommend this service?” or “Are you proud to work here?” Then the responses are tabulated and related to sales, revenue, productivity, repeat business, etc. This has been helpful to organizations, but still many have not managed to move the needle, especially in employee engagement.

We found an opportunity to measure actual desired behaviors, in addition to attitudes, using social media data. We can do the same analyses that are done with survey data, but without the hassle of collecting survey data. And it can be done without survey fatigue, more than once per year. As well, our methodology will continue to be refined on an on-going basis, along with the development of new analytical tools and availability of data. It will not remain static like most other frameworks, however companies will still be able to track progress over time and identify relatable and meaningful factors. The insights provided by our research point companies to actions that will encourage the contagion of their brand.

2)   It provides a call to action, simplifying the language.

When I worked at JetBlue I found myself tripping over language to describe the contagious culture and passion for the brand. The term “brandful” immediately resonated with my colleagues and I found people using it from the moment they heard it. And it can apply to a person who is behind the brand or an organization that has brandful employees and customers. Social media almost demands that an individual or an organization be brandful. If you don’t support what your company is all about or a company cannot inspire its stakeholders to be brandful, it shows. There’s no hiding. Having a term like brandful provides a more descriptive way to discuss the subject and make it a priority.

Companies are searching for ways to maximize their chance for success in the future. Through the development of this framework, we can more easily identify those who have it right both inside the company and outside. Those who truly walk the talk can serve as role models for others. Brandful companies provide the type of customer and employee experiences that will progress forward into the next generation of brands.

Launching Top Brandful Companies

Top Brandful Companies will be live this summer. beauty of our launch is that it’s just the beginning. It’s not only companies that can be brandful, but we plan to roll out top brandful cities, colleges and non-profits.  Because almost any entity can be brandful, as long as there are folks out there to spread positive messages about it.

After the launch, our proprietary tool can be used to score almost any kind of organization at any point in time.  The insights from the results can help identify barriers as well as actions to becoming brandful.

Want to know if your company is brandful? Become a sponsor or take our brief survey to submit your opinions on who’s brandful.

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