There are two schools of thought behind this. One is that organizations tactically recruit unified types of people. The other is that organizations strategically create certain types of culture. Either way, the intent is to develop a brand that touches the hearts and souls of your employees, generating a deep sense of loyalty that’s almost spiritual.
This is brand spirituality, the corporate religion, the pledge of allegiance to the company that successful organizations seem to be able to create within the employee population.
As a fledgling executive, a friend was hired to work for a large entertainment corporation. As training, he was required to wear a character costume and walk around the theme park posing for pictures for a full day. The idea was that everyone in the executive offices needed to understand the emotional connections that people felt with the company and its icons. It was important to have first-hand knowledge of what it feels like to be a part of the brand.
Think about the barista who made your espresso this morning. Was she welcoming? Did she flash you a smile? If the answer is yes, you might have been at Starbucks — they put a premium on brand spirituality.
The value of brand spirit is seen through the eyes of happy employees who work passionately and tirelessly. It infuses the workplace and the products with a joy that leads to successful customer experiences.
Brand spirituality is an important consideration for training and keeping good people. It’s also your calling card for recruiting. It just makes for a better work-life experience. And shockingly, it has very little to do with money.
- Law of Attraction – Any company is only as good as its people. Brands that have a strong, positive, internal spirit tend to attract the best employees. Infusing brand spirituality into your HR package provides an extra edge to your company’s ability to recruit top talent. Brands like Nike, Patagonia and Facebook also have reputations as great places to work. It’s no wonder that they are all extremely successful.
- Environmental Awareness – The physical and emotional environment of your place of business will naturally follow the tone of your brand. This can be extraordinarily effective in managing office costs. It’s not about the expense of the furnishings, but about the passion of the people who work there. I have seen amazing brand spirit in start-up garages and really poor attitudes in fancy corporate headquarters.
- Brand Ambassadors – Happy, spirited employees are your best brand ambassadors. They can be lead generators whether they work in the sales and marketing department or not. They are pitching to colleagues, friends and family through their passion, honesty, attitude and commitment. Their stories seep out – especially through social media. Good feelings within a company have great value in the marketplace.
- Keep the Faithful – Retaining talented people is as important as finding and nurturing them. Brand spirituality breeds loyalty, which begets desire, which feeds the appetite for a long-term commitment to an organization. That creates a sense of comfort, support and contentment. Many people have left happy places for more money and regretted it.
- The Right Thing – Spirited organizations capture the hearts and souls of the people that work for them. Those hearts and souls do the right thing when it comes to your brand. They think about the impacts to that brand when they make decisions, and want to preserve it. Naturally, they act on your behalf. Everyone pulls in the same direction. The strength of your brand depends on that kind of spiritual dedication.
Brand spirituality is strong medicine in maintaining the internal health of your organization. Companies that take a holistic approach to the spiritual health of their brand find, retain and embrace a great talent, which leads to superior production and increased sales.
The 4-part process we use at Flux Branding is called The Idea Method. It’s a time-tested methodology for success that leads to the greatest possible reward: People who are emotionally connected. With emotion comes passion and a desire to satisfy personal need.
Passionate people forge a bond of loyalty with the brands they love. That connection transcends issues of price, specs or features, because life just isn’t the same without the products and services you provide.