What is Brand Involvement?

3 August 2016 / by Ashley Freeman

A Little Context…

When embarking on an employee brand engagement exercise and looking for some advice, it is hard to beat Benjamin Franklin’s saying of “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

Retail businesses have to be well versed in the need to react and respond to consumer needs and behaviours in order to deliver an experience that drives value.

A crucial ‘channel’ (not that we would ever advocate calling employees a channel!) that is often overlooked across the sector, however, are the very people that should be the living and breathing embodiment of the brand; the shop-floor sales assistants. No matter how spectacular the display, how broad the range or powerful the brand insight, the quality of the customer experience rests on the employee’s ability to empathise, assist, differentiate, add personality…..all that good stuff.

Happy Employees = Happy Share Price

This lack of investment in people creates a very real risk of damaging a brand. Indeed when assessing the power of a brand, as important as its proposition and design are, the ease with which its employees understand and are able to engage with the brand values must be of equal importance no?

Ironically, however, investment in brand engagement is often overlooked in exchange for increasing old school marketing spend. This is in spite of the overwhelming case for investment in engagement. Countless studies and articles report time and time again that aligned and happy employees = happy experience = happy customers = happy share price.

Part of the Omnichannel

Then there are the digital channels to consider, which are so embedded into our lives that of course they are impossible to ignore. For example a recent study found that the average UK resident looks at their phone 85 times a day, regardless of where they are or what they are doing.

This has led to the rise of so called ‘Omnichannel Retailing’, where a number of channels combine to complete the customer’s shopping experience, including pre-purchase research, browsing, buying and after service.

In the world of retail, Nike, Apple and John Lewis frequently top the lists of the most admired and successful brands, but it is the outstanding customer service delivered by their employees and partners that often sets them apart. Colleagues that not only understand but believe in the brands that they work for, therefore are able to turn every customer interaction into an opportunity to drive affinity for that brand. In addition, this empathy is brilliantly reflected in the digital experience of these brands delivering a true Omnichannel experience.

Creating Brand Involvement

As our name suggests, INVOLVE believe passionately in the power of involvement to get employees aligned behind what the brand stands for. By involving people in defining how best to deliver the brand values and create an unrivalled customer experience, they naturally take greater ownership and commit to it in the long-term. We believe that any well executed brand engagement program should learn from the Omnichannel approach. Combining live experiences with the right pre and post event communications delivered with the intention of involving colleagues in the brand they represent. Ignoring this investment leaves brands open to damaging their fiercely fought for reputation by a disengaged workforce.

As Franklin put it, “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.”

If you’re interesting in a more involving approach to brand engagement just give us a call!