I know a training organization that’s re-discovered branding, and it’s busy ensuring its logo is applied consistently to all marketing communications and training materials. In the process, however, the training firm neglected a critical branding element: the “brand experience” provided its training staff who deliver on the brand.
The instructors work hard to deliver quality content and create an engaging learning experience for customers. Their efforts are reflected in positive program evaluations along with positive revenue for the training firm. However, in its zeal to re-brand its current programs, create new ones, and issue directives on how to incorporate the logo on all training materials, management stopped listening to those responsible for delivering the training itself.
It can start by proactively listening and responding to instructor concerns:
- How do instructors perceive the quality of support they’re given to deliver a positive experience to customers?
- What works and what gets in the way of effectively delivering a positive training experience?
- What suggestions/ideas do instructors have for improving training delivery, developing new programs, etc.
Two important lessons:
- Brand strategy cannot overlook the people who deliver the brand promise. Both internal branding & internal marketing recognize staff as an organization’s “first audience” to be engaged before its customers.
- To be effective, branding must also be multi-dimensional – applied at the marcomm AND experiential levels.
Otherwise, it’s wasted effort that if not effectively resolved can result in both turnover and brand damage.