Monday, May 07, 2007
Employees Play Big Part in Brand Innovation
The night before the Association of National Advertisers' first Brand Innovation Forum, four marketing executives gathered; Their hosts for the evening: ANA President-CEO Bob Liodice and Advertising Age Editor Jonah Bloom and CMO Strategy Editor Jennifer Rooney. What drew Clorox VP-Marketing, Laundry and Home Care Tarang Amin, Wells Fargo Senior VP-Brand Strategy Katy Frohling, JetBlue VP-Sales and Marketing Andrea Spiegel and Home Depot Senior VP-CMO Roger Adams. The executives discussed a variety of issues about how to keep both old and new brands relevant. The executives discussed whether it's possible to get a link between marketing and brand equity; and why authenticity in brand messaging is vital. Interestingly, discussion changed to focusing on the role employees play in an organizations efforts to innovate. All four executives said their employees are a critical link to consumer understanding and, in turn, successful innovation.
Katy Frohling, senior VP-brand strategy, Wells Fargo said "our employees are called team members, and we regularly survey not only our customers but our team members on a monthly basis, because we get some amazing ideas -- what we call the "lighting ideas" -- from our front line."
I couldn't agree more with Katy. It is important to regularly survey customers and team members (i.e. employees) to get ideas. I have a few reasons listed below.
Why Survey Employees?
1. Gain significant insight - Employees are on the front line of your business everyday. They know what problems your customers are experiencing with your business. Additionally, they can provide feedback so you may help them become more productive workers.
2. Employees like to be heard - Employees like to see an employer implement some of their ideas. It makes them feel better as an employee, making them more productive and interested in improving themselves and their position within your company.
3. Boost morale - Asking your employees for feedback makes them feel important. It lets them know you care, but remember that you cannot stop there. You must review their feedback and find ways to implement their suggestions. Also, don't forget to reward employees with truly outstanding ideas and remember to thank everyone for their input.
It is very important to include employees in brand innovation. They are the heart and soul of any organization. It is important to let them voice their ideas and concerns to improve their work environment. Besides, happy employees equals happy customers.
Source: Ad Age