The answer is simply, yes. You and your employees are representations of your business whether you are a sole proprietor or the owner of a Fortune 500 Company. When you think back to when you started your company, the core values and pillars your company were built on were an extension of your personal values. When you hire for your company, yes, you are looking for people with the right experience and skill set but you are also ensuring that they fit with your company’s brand and values. When your customers interact with you and your employees, you want to ensure the customer experience is consistent with your brand. Therefore, they really are one and the same.
What is Your Brand and Where is it Going?
If your brand is based on the values of reliability and integrity, you want to ensure that you carry this through in everything your business does. Your products are ones that your clients can rely on to keep working long after the competition has died and when your delivery guy says he will drop off the product for the client, he does because this is living the values of reliability and integrity.
Take Google for an example, its brand has always been based on the values of fun and innovation. Everything about the company from its office environment to its web-interface to its corporate policies embodies these values. The Google office is a hub that promotes a fun yet productively innovative environment, equipped with slides, game rooms, nap cubes, swimming pools and bowling alleys (I am only scratching the surface!). When it comes to the web-interface, you can usually bank on the Google home page to have a creative story to tell or game to play…I don’t see Bing doing that. Lastly, considering Google gets an average of 75,000 job applicants a week and rarely has people leave the company, I think the brand is communicating their values loud and clear both internally and externally.
As the face of The Marketing Girl, it took me a while to come up with the values of the company but once I did, the qualities that make up the company’s brand started taking shape and I saw a reflection of my own values showing through.