Internal and Employer Branding
Thorsten Kadel, Senior Strategic Director & Member of the Executive Board at dan pearlman Markenarchitektur, about brands’ emotional relevance for people
Which challenges face brands today?
In a globalized competition, prizing and quality alone don’t win customers. Digitalization has fundamentally changed the relative strength of suppliers and customers. Information, opinions, and offers by competitors are available with a click. Brands and companies face intense pressure. Faster product cycles, ever more channels, more touch points and growing digital and global networking increase the complexity of brand and company management.
Do people fall by the wayside?
To the contrary! People are becoming the differentiating factor! Only if we put people (back) in focus, brands can develop authentic relationships with their customers because they are real and emotional. And that is what matters. The factor people, meaning person-to-person and customer-client interaction, is pivotal for the brand experience, especially in critical situations and disruptive times. I think that today, brand loyalty can only be secured with a “real” relationship. And for that, employee behavior – not only the service relationship in a narrow sense – is of central importance. It’s the employee who is key in shaping the brand experience. With their behavior, employees often tip the scale if customers decide for or against a brand.
Is there a difference in viewing the people as customers or employees?
After all, the brand experience of customers and employees should not differ at its core. A consistent brand experience along all touch points of a brand is only possible when people play the main role in brand equity. Only in this way, brands become holistic and one-of-a-kind experiences that create added value for people – customers and employees. Employees have to embrace the brand. Only then, they are ready to live it authentically and become brand ambassadors. And only then, customers can experience the brand authentically as well. Eventually, both employees and customers have to be rationally convinced and emotionally excited. For brands to realize this task, people are key. I also discuss this central role of employees and customers in the article Internal Brand Experience featured in the Springer Gabler publication Omnichannel Branding.