Every Interaction Every Time

It’s often said your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.

At lunch today, that lesson became abundantly clear to my guest and me. The restaurant door swung open and the three men entered continuing their conversation. “…If that fat jackass thinks I’m detailing that car when it’s raining outside, he’s got his head further up his ass than I thought.”

The remark drew raucous laughter from the three.

Brand Ambassadors At Work

The men were dressed in full auto service department uniforms (with company and personal nametags…think about it, James), unapologetically bashing someone in full throat. Out the window, it was easy to see the auto dealership across the street where these “brand ambassadors” work.

The hostess sat the trio near our table. We were in earshot of the “private” stories the three shared regarding how they felt the dealership. It provides their livelihoods, but it’s a horrible place.

You Can’t Control Everything

I started to think about the owner of the dealership. The family name is on the door – and on these men’s uniforms. Was the owner the “fat jackass”? Was it the boss of these three employees, or, even worse, was it a customer? This business owner has worked for decades to build and polish a brand with his family name. He was now suffering from employees who did not seem to care about the repercussions of their words in public.

How can a business protect itself from internal sabotage, which at face value is more careless than intentional? Ensure every employee understands the company’s mission and values and how each action they take supports it.

Employee Behavior Is a Marketing Issue

Most small business owners and managers read every press release before sending, meticulously double check every advertisement placed, write brochure copy and monitor online channels for company mentions. But do they understand what living, breathing employees are saying about the company?

  • You and everyone you hire or associate with ARE your brand. When you release them into the wild, they take with them the hopes and dreams of your company. Your team represents you in the marketplace – everything you think your business means, does, and says.
  • Every encounter is sales opportunity. What if I had stopped for a quick lunch with a colleague before buying a $50,000 car at that dealership? The conversation I overheard would have given me pause at least.
  • Every interaction is a brand interaction. What if your company-branded vehicle drives erratically on the highway and flies a bird out the window? Every interaction is a brand interaction, for better or for worse.

Involve Employees In Your Mission

It is vital to keep your employees actively committed to your mission during this time of daily marketplace disruption. Be sure that members of your team believe in what you stand for and the company’s values. If an employee cannot say why he or she works there, it might be time for them to move along.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *