What makes a brand? For a long time, it’s been a logo, a colour palette, a typeface or a slogan. This traditional approach may make a brand recognisable however it can also feel stagnant within a fast-moving world. The brand characteristics outlined above are largely reflective of how a brand wants to be seen – not how it’s built in order to engage with people.
Traditional branding then starts to feel like keeping up appearances. How the brand presents itself to the world becomes tied up in a tightly wound series of rules codified in a brand bible or style guide, frequently with little to no input outside of senior leadership as well as the design team.
These restrictions can alienate teams who are often reined in by these constraints lest they ‘misrepresent ‘the brand, and limit marketing’s ability to show up in interesting, transformative ways as consumer needs evolve. And so over the course of years – or decades – the brand stagnates, at least until it’s time to hit refresh with a new coat of paint.
Technology may be changing our lives and work beyond recognition, however the hardware and software that run our world are still dependent on human innovation. Attracting and retaining the top tier of entrepreneurial and technical talent is a cornerstone for any start-up and many established companies.
How To Build A People-First Brand
Get Frequent Feedback From Your Employees
Want to know if your employees feel that their company puts them first? Ask them. You could be surprised at what employees say. In addition, the simple fact of asking your workforce about what drives them will demonstrate you value their input.
There are several different ways in which you can do this:
- Employee forums,
- Feedback boxes, or
- Encouraging line managers to communicate regularly their employees.
Also, pulse surveys are a great option as they give you the opportunity to get quicker feedback and take remedial action.
Just make sure that you show you’re listening by communicating what and how you’re changing – as well as the rationale if some things are not able to be changed right now.