|It's Not Just About The Song: A Contrast In Employee Brand Understanding|
You can tell when employees know what the brand is about, truly understand it, and take pride in their role in delivering on it. You can also tell when they don't!
This hit home with me after comparing my recent experience picking up my brand new car, with that of a friend of mine who recently picked up his brand new car.
My friend arrived to pick up his new Saturn, to find it parked inside the dealership, gleaming in a warm, glassed-in showroom. Employees of all types, including mechanics, administrators, managers and salespeople, gathered around and sang to him - really! Everyone shook his hand and congratulated him. He got into the waiting car, was given a thorough walkthrough, and drove directly out of the (opened) sliding glass doors after a warm send-off. Did he like the singing? Not particularly. But he did feel valued, and every one of the employees made him feel like he had made the right decision to buy that car.
Now, compare that with my experience, where the manufacturer and dealer shall go unnamed. I arrived at a pre-arranged time, excited to pick up my new car. The dealership was quiet, and the administrative person I was there to meet was still eating dinner in the back. That's okay, I was a bit early. After waiting about 10 minutes, the administrative person came out, and we completed the final paperwork. That's when I found out my salesperson wasn't there, as had been planned. "No problem" she said, "we'll find someone else."
After another wait (looking for the keys? looking for a person to help?), out came a perfectly nice person, one of the older retired guys who drives the courtesy cars. Next, where is the new car? Hmmm, somewhere in the parking lot. After walking around a bit with the nice older guy looking for it, he tells us to go wait in the showroom. Ten minutes later, he drives up with it. Another few minutes, as we stand in the cold, he attaches the plates.
Then - the ceremony - "Here's the keys. Guess you know how it works. See ya!" Hmmmm. No song? Well I can do without the song, but I did think that some kind of recognition that I had just purchased a brand new car, and some indication that they were happy about it and hoped I was too, would have been nice.
Maybe the company I dealt with thought their employees do understand and deliver on the brand. Maybe the employees understood what they needed to do, but there were factors that didn't allow them to do it. Maybe they thought the brand was about something else. Maybe they didn't care. Just what was the cause of the difference in my experience versus my friend's experience? Employee brand research helps uncover the answers.