Displaying items by tag: Employee branding / employee value proposition (EVP)

Friday, 19 June 2015 16:18

Background and approach

In June 2014, BrandMatters’ long term client Wesfarmers Insurance sold its insurance broking and premium funding businesses to Arthur J Gallagher and as a result, Lumley Finance needed to rebrand itself so that it no longer used the Lumley name and crest. Lumley Finance was a leading premium funder that partners with insurance brokers to deliver premium funding to businesses across Australia and New Zealand.

BrandMatters was appointed to develop a new name for Lumley Finance. The name needed to align to its recently developed brand positioning. The brief also included the development of a new logo and visual identity; and the production of all launch collateral.

BrandMatters commenced the project with comprehensive desk research and a series of depth interviews with senior executives. This research was used to develop a detailed naming brief to inform the development of the new name.

BrandMatters used a name storming process to build a shortlist of names for the new brand, and then conducted preliminary searches to confirm the names were available for trademarking in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

The name Elantis was chosen because of its dual meaning: Elan, French for energy, style and enthusiasm, and Ilan, Hebrew for oak tree. The new name aligned with the organisation’s vision for its culture and future strategic direction.

BrandMatters used the new name to develop three logo and look and feel options. The chosen logo and look and feel was then rolled out across a suite of collateral and launch materials including corporate stationery, a new website, brand video, eDMs, brochureware, merchandise, info graphics, desktop wallpapers and screensavers and more.

 

 

A comprehensive set of brand guidelines were also created for use and interpretation by employees and marketing suppliers in Australia and New Zealand.

Results

The new Elantis brand was launched internally and externally in July 2014 via a series of events across Australia and New Zealand.

In addition to client and industry launch events, BrandMatters partnered with Elantis to develop a comprehensive collection of internal launch collateral to encourage employees to embrace the new brand. The launch collateral included uniforms, an employee brand wheel, branded gifts, business cards and pre-loaded computer desktop wallpapers and screensavers. The collateral was delivered via a desk drop to employees on the day of the launch. The desk drop was in addition to an internal launch event featuring branded balloons, branded cupcakes and banners celebrating the new brand.

Elantis PremiumFunding 658x300px 72dpi RGB 5

 

The launch received positive feedback from Elantis clients and industry media, and was embraced with enthusiasm internally.

BrandMatters continues to partner with Elantis on new initiatives moving forward.

 

 

Tuesday, 11 November 2014 12:40

On Sunday night Qantas launched its new TV campaign across all the major Australian TV networks. You can view the TV commercial, ‘Welcome Home’, here:

http://youtu.be/16RhgfA662k

And you can watch Channel 7’s take on it here, where BrandMatters was also asked to comment:

The TV-led campaign is an attempt to get Australians to reconnect emotionally with the embattled brand. With its strong narrative, quality production values and the lilting melodies of Australian singer Martha Marlow singing Randy Newman’s ‘Feels Like Home’, it is unquestionably a beautiful piece of advertising.  But will it be enough to overcome the brand’s challenges of the past three years and increase flagging revenue on Qantas’ international routes?

At BrandMatters, we don’t think it’s enough. There is a succinct saying that neatly sums up the Qantas brand challenge: brand is a promise delivered. Unfortunately for Qantas, advertising alone can’t rebuild a broken brand – especially a brand that is perceived as not delivering on its promise to passengers, its employees or the Australian public more broadly.

Although advertising alone is insufficient to be the entire answer, there are three actions that Qantas can take to begin to rebuild its brand in the mind of its audience:

Rebuild trust:

When many Australians think of Qantas today they call to mind the 2011 global fleet grounding, the replacement of Qantas routes with budget partner Jetstar flights, sending maintenance jobs offshore, safety scares and recent rounds of large scale redundancies. The erosion of trust is having both an emotional and economic effect on the former national carrier. Trusted brands have committed customers who are not only willing to recommend them to friends and family, but display a willingness to pay higher prices: a ‘trust’ premium. David Horsager, C-suite leadership expert and author of The Trust Edge suggests that trust is made up of eight key factors: clarity, compassion, character, contribution, competency, connection, commitment and consistency. It is the result of long term investment and commitment and, unfortunately for Qantas, cannot be rebuilt in a day. You can learn more about how trust can be rebuilt here. 

Reconnect with employees:

We would argue that the advertising as presented captures the emotion of when Qantas had proud and passionate employees – be they call centre operators, check in staff, cabin crew and even captains. There was something quintessentially Australian about that experience then, that made it ‘our airline’, especially when heading home, as the ads insight taps into. It was a perfect balance of Aussie genuineness, good humour, and relaxed and friendly service, all underpinned by a safety record that was the envy of every other airline worldwide.  So what happened? After multiple rounds of redundancies, Qantas employees are doubtlessly fearing an uncertain future and, as a result, suffering from a lack of trust and feeling disengaged from their employer. Yet employees in a service business are an airline’s most valuable assets – a living example of the Qantas brand promise – and the impact of a disengaged workforce on a company’s bottom line can’t be overstated. Engaged workers feel valued and connected, and approach their work with far more passion than those who don’t. Two of the keys to building a strong employee brand are demonstrating inspired, committed leadership and communicating a sense of vision; and offering employees the tools and knowledge to deliver on the brand promise. If Qantas’ leadership can begin to rebuild trust and invest in repairing its relationship with its employees, it will once again be able to build a cohesive, inspired workforce that delivers passionately on the Qantas brand promise. You can learn more about building a strong employee brand here.

Repair the customer experience:

If social media sentiment is anything to go by, the impact of the ‘Welcome Home’ advertisement has been polarising. There are many viewers who have connected with the ad emotionally, but equally many for whom the ad simply serves as a reminder of a recent negative Qantas customer experience. Qantas needs to invest in ensuring that the rational experience of its service aligns with the emotional connection it is attempting to repair. As challenger Virgin Australia attempts to steal market share in the lucrative business travel market, Qantas needs to reassess what it is about its customer experience that makes it different, and use its reengaged employees to deliver on this unique experience on each and every flight.

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Unfortunately for Qantas there is no simple advertising solution for repairing its reputation with its Australia audience, no matter how emotional and beautiful to watch. Alas, brands aren’t built or repaired by advertising alone. That said, when done well, advertising can act brilliantly to create awareness about your product or service proposition in a way that has your target audience consider or re-consider you and, in turn, view, read, listen, phone, click, or seek, to learn more. We hope (and in fairness, expect) that Qantas understands this.

As a business under pressure however, the natural inclination might be to outsource its brand repair work to its ad agency. Let’s face it, it’s much easier than what we’re suggesting. However appealing that might be, we would strongly caution against this. To create an airline brand that has its chosen audience disinterested in alternatives means it must start with its leadership, its culture and its people. It must start inside, out.  By doing this, it will  rebuild its relationship with its employees first and instil the pride of the Qantas brand in them. In our view it’s this strengthened relationship with its employees is the only sustainable way to improve and create its desired customer experience.

The world of marketing has many buzz words and the majority of them lasts only a couple of seasons. However, some of these concepts endure and have earned their place in the marketing hall of fame; word of mouth (WOM) is one of these.

Withstanding the test of time

WOM has always been recognised as a powerful marketing tool, and its effectiveness has increased in concert with the proliferation of media channels. In 1955, WOM was proven to be seven times more effective than newspaper advertising. In 1967, 36% of consumers first learnt of an innovation through WOM, and 48% were influenced by WOM when making a purchase decision.

Fast forward to today, and 61% of people are more likely to trust people like themselves when considering how to spend their money than they are to trust media advertising.

Whilst traditional advertising is still effective in building brand awareness, it struggles to resonate with today’s audiences who, weary of brands overpromising and underdelivering, are blocking out these messages as a matter of course.

It’s also very hard to get the edge on competitors using traditional advertising as the returns are very small, but WOM is able to reach more people more effectively. With marketing budgets stretched more tightly than ever, and multiple channels fighting for the marketing dollar, WOM has a significant role to play.

Opinions matter

Trust is key. People are inclined to trust their fellow human beings more than they trust any other information source. In fact, nearly half of all Americans say that they will be influenced by a review from their peers. Today WOM is the crucial factor in 20 to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions, particularly for first-time or expensive purchases where trusted opinions matter.

From a business perspective the key drivers for engendering trust are the quality of products and services sold and the attentiveness to customer needs. Satisfied customers who have had their issue successfully resolved are likely to tell four to six people about their experience. Dissatisfied customers will tell between nine and 15 people about their experience. Today a large number of those people are going online to voice their opinions and post their reviews, with two in five wanting to influence others by doing so. As WOM now functions on a one-to-many basis through online platforms, their potential reach is great.

The impact of word of mouth

The impact of word of mouth referrals should not be underestimated. Recent studies have shown that the long-term elasticity of WOM referrals is about 2.5 times higher than that of advertising. And over time the elasticity of word of mouth endures, being approximately 20 times higher than that of marketing events and 30 times higher than media presence. It is thought that word of mouth has a much longer carry over period than traditional marketing with WOM continuing to affect consumer actions for much longer periods following initial contact.

Preparing your brand

Most customer experiences are unremarkable and, as a result, people are indifferent to the brand providing it. It is unlikely then that the brand will feature in discussions. However, brands that people talk about make a connection and have meaning that extends beyond monetary terms.

Every contact your customer has with any aspect of your organisation is an experience they have with your brand. The responsibility for ensuring that the experience exceeds their expectations and becomes the subject of positive conversations lies, therefore, with the entire organisation.

The following insights are fundamental to achieving positive word of mouth for your brand:

1.  Be clear on your brand positioning and your ideal client

Knowing who you are targeting and what your brand stands for enables you to be true to your values and consistent in your messaging. This creates a clear, concise and consistent picture of your company which means that your customer will have no difficulty in representing your company accurately.

2. Your employees must “live and breathe” your brand positioning

Every single person in the company must thoroughly understand how your brand is positioned and the role they play in delivering the customer experience you are striving to provide. Internal mechanisms should make them accountable for delivering that experience, and processes should enable them to manage and log referrals and repeat custom which ensue.

3. Have a compelling brand story

Very few companies have a powerful story to tell about their brand. However, a compelling story not only sets a company apart from the competition, it also provides your customer with an opportunity to share interesting information which could serve to raise his profile – and yours.

4. Create an unparalleled customer experience that fosters loyalty to your brand

Wherever your customer chooses to interact with you, the experience he has should be consistent across all channels and exceed his expectations. The more overtly positive experiences he has, the more he will consider himself a valued partner and not just one half of a transaction – and the more his allegiance to your brand will grow.

5.  Have brand measurement systems in place

Customer information is vital. Your company should know what’s important to your customers and should be able to track exactly how your brand is performing against those metrics. Having an NPS mechanism in place will help you understand how you’re performing relative to your goals.

When all is said and done, it’s important to remember that you can’t control word of mouth. You can, however, influence it with every interaction your brand has, so it pays to have the structures in place to ensure that WOM is working in your brand’s favour.

Thursday, 29 November 2012 13:52

A recent survey showed two thirds of Australian employees are not engaged with their jobs or their employer. Worse still, almost half the five thousand workers surveyed are actively disengaged.

The survey by Right Management, a division of Manpower Group, highlights a significant financial risk for Australia business and demonstrates the need for companies engage with their employees and make sure they have a compelling Employee Value Proposition (EVP).

The high cost of employee disengagement

If an organisation is only as good as the people who work for it, what are the costs of a disengaged workforce? According to a Gallup study in 2008, the annual cost of employee disengagement to Australian businesses is between $33.5 and $42.1 billion. Disengaged employees are often unproductive and inefficient and are also far more likely to leave, and replacing them is expensive and impacts your bottom line.

Impacts on recruitment and retention

The Right Management survey discovered Australia is the fourth worst performing country in terms of attracting candidates and filling jobs. In Australia, where we have such a shortage of skilled labour, attracting and retaining staff is a key benefit of a developing an effective EVP for your company.

Engaged employees become your brand ambassadors and play an important role in portraying your company as an employer of choice and somewhere people will want to work. They are also far less likely to leave than disengaged employees. In fact, the same survey found engaged employees have a 44% retention rate compared to disengaged employees.

The benefits of an engaged workforce

An engaged employee feels positively connected to their job and passionate about their contribution to your company. Engaged employees are more collaborative and have a more innovative approach to their jobs.  When your employees are engaged they will go the extra mile to deliver improved product quality or customer service with benefits for your business’ productivity and profitability.

There’s also a strong connection between employee engagement and customer advocacy. Red Balloon is a company that consistently appears on the BRW Top 50 Places to Work list and in 2012 appeared at number 17. General Manager of Corporate Matt Geraghty describes Red Balloon as the home of ‘committed and happy employees willing to shout about their employer’.

Your employees have a direct impact on the image of your brand in your customers’ eyes and an enthusiastic, engaged employee will create a positive customer experience. Employee branding is about your employees being your best brand champions.

EVPs: The cornerstone of an engaged workforce

Your employees are simultaneously one of your most important stakeholder groups, and the custodians of your brand, responsible for delivering your brand to your customers and making it genuine and believable.

An effective EVP is the cornerstone of any engagement strategy – it gives your team a ‘reason to believe’. It helps your employees understand who you are, where you are going, and what role they play in the future of your organisation. A well-articulated EVP will help you both attract and then retain employees who are a good cultural match for your organisation.

From disengaged to engaged

Employee engagement is more than simply job satisfaction, employee motivation or company culture. It is about your employees feeling positively connected to their jobs and passionate about their contribution to your company.  It’s about creating opportunities for growth and making sure your employees understand their value and where they fit in.

Determining what drives engagement is critical, and it can be different for difference sections of your team. For example, according to Right Management, Gen X males (aged 30 – 44) are currently the most disengaged group in the workforce.

“Men in this age group are often supporting young families, so they may feel obliged to stay in a role that’s not right for them. Employers shouldn’t ignore the challenges facing this group, and ensure they provide support such as career development and flexible hours,” said Bridget Beattie, Regional General Manager, Right Management.

Once you understand how to motivate them, you can work to set incentives and bring accountability to your team. How? By defining behaviours relevant to your brand values and connecting them with factors that motivate your employees. The ‘sweet spot’ for employee engagement is where the personal and career goals and motivations of your employees collide with the strategic goals and objectives of your organisation.

The team at Diageo Australia manufactures  Johnnie Walker, Baileys and Bundaberg Rum among others. It maximizes staff engagement through opportunities to work overseas, extra leave each year and paid maternity and paternity leave – although the in-house bar open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights also helps. Diageo are also regulars on the BRW 50 Top Employers list.

Education plays an important role in improving employee engagement. Employees need the education, tools and resources to both embrace your brand and deliver on your brand promise.

When recruiting, over time an effective and clearly articulated EVP will become self-fulfilling. It will combine with your employment strategy and attract employees who already exhibit your brand values and behaviours and are seeking employment with you because they actively want to engage with your brand.

Can you afford not to engage?

Despite all the evidence, in the current business climate many organisations are focusing on increasing productivity and efficiency but neglecting employee engagement – something that actually delivers the competitive advantage they’re aiming for. By clearly defining your organisation’s EVP and actively engaging with your workforce you can retain your best employees and continue to attract strong talent.

As an opening thought, you have to realize that great brands are built inside out - by motivated and committed employees who understand the organisation's vision, values and behaviours and the role they play in delivering to these. The Employee Value Proposition (EVP) that a company develops will do more than fulfill the needs of HR and Talent Management functions. The EVP - when aligned and clearly articulated - shapes the culture of an organisation and is central to the employee experience. This experience will assist the organisations' ability to attract and retain the best possible talent in the market.

The only strategy that really counts is the one in our people's heads, hearts and hands when they come to making a decision.

Coherence Infographic

Employee Value propositions (EVP)
Employee value propositions can fundamentally assist organisations in this context in attracting, obtaining and retaining the best people. This is achieved via clearly defining what your employment brand stands for, and clearly understanding what your defined audience of current and prospective employees are looking for. You will need to match these two in a way that is credible (to your current employees), relevant to the prospective employees you wish to attract, unique, relative to the competition who are also trying to attract high performers, and sustainable - such that it can be consistent and stand the test of time.

Convergence of values and goals Infographic

Benefits of an aligned EVP- External
1. Customers and Distribution Channels-Existing and New

  • Provides customers with a clearer understanding of the value proposition, delivering greater ease and more meaningful, dimensional and sustainable relationships.

2. Community

  • Provides the community with a greater and clearer understanding of the reason they exist, how they are positioned, what they believe in and what role they play in the broader community.

3. Potential Employees

  • Greater clarity and simplicity about the organisation ,what they stand for and what a career with them looks like.
  • A distinctive and clear EVP, internally and externally aligned that attracts the best graduates.
  • A clear market leader to seek out amongst a myriad of competitors.

Companies with Strong Brands have a strong Employer Brands

  • Westpac
  • Nike
  • GE
  • News Limited
  • Fuji Xerox
  • Cochlear
  • Procter and Gamble
  • PepsiCo
  • Nestle

Employee Branding At IBM
"If I could have chosen not to tackle the IBM culture head-on, I probably wouldn't have. My bias coming in was toward strategy, analysis and measurement ... In comparison, changing the attitude and behaviors of hundreds of thousands of people is very, very hard ... [Yet] I came to see in my time at IBM that culture isn't just one aspect of the game - it is the game."
-Lou Gerstner, Who Says Elephants Can't Dance

Embedding Employee Branding Infographic

 

 

Anyone who's done marketing 101 research knows the traditional four Ps of marketing: product, price, place (distribution), and promotion.

In the present climate, however, it's necessary to be familiar with the new four Ps: Persistence, Positioning, People and Profitability.

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