Several months ago, we released our first video in support of our Amazon best-selling book, The Social Employee. The video, which we affectionately titled “Think of Your Brand as a Planet,” approaches a key maxim of our book: The social employee is the voice of the brand. Because of this, it is every brand’s responsibility to empower their workforce by establishing a strong internal culture focused on the brand’s mission, vision, and values. Watch the video below for a more detailed explanation on how this works.
So what does this look like, who is doing it well, and is there any evidence that employee engagement leads to better business outcomes? Let’s take a look at what’s making news around the web.
Driving Culture the Netflix Way
Over at B2B Marketing Insider, Michael Brenner (@BrennerMichael) puts the spotlight on Netflix (@Netflix) and their ongoing efforts to place culture and employee activation at the center of all their branding efforts. To drive his point home, Brenner highlights Netflix’s 2011 Slideshare presentation focusing the brand’s cultural values, which he considers “the best marketing Netflix will ever do”—aside from continuing to provide superior content, of course. These strong efforts appear to be paying off, as evidenced by this sci-fi themed customer service chat that went viral last fall.
Engagement – Now Backed by Science
A January post by Kevin Kruse (@Kruse) over at Forbes highlighted a recent scientific study that found not only a correlation between employee engagement and improved business outcomes, but a causal relationship as well. This is big news for social business/social employee advocates, as establishing a true cause/effect relationship between the two has been notoriously tricky. As Kruse comments, without true evidence of causation, many could be inclined to dismiss any correlation as evidence that people tend to be happier when things are going well. Here’s hoping more studies are able to duplicate these results.
The Refreshing Taste of a Green Apple
Finally, over at the We First blog, Simon Mainwaring (@SimonMainwaring) focuses on Apple CEO Tim Cook’s recent efforts to make his brand synonymous with environmental responsibility. In fact, Cook is even quoted at a February shareholder meeting as saying, “If you want me to do things only for [return on investment] reasons you should get out of this stock.” What does this have to do with employee buy-in? By taking such an active, public stance, Cook has engrained environmentalism into Apple’s mission, vision, and values. And this matters: a 2013 brand hare study found that 92 percent of people prefer to do business with an organization that shares their beliefs, a practice Apple has employed time and again to get both employees and customers to rally around their brand. Today’s social employees want to work for a brand that stands for something, but it takes strong, dedicated social executive leadership to make that happen.
What other examples or evidence of the value of strong internal culture have you seen recently? Share your stories in the comments below!
In The Social Employee, we go behind the scenes with several leading brands—such as IBM, AT&T, Dell, Adobe, Southwest Airlines, Cisco, Acxiom, and Domo—pulling the lid off the inspiring social business success stories that have propelled these companies into the 21st century. These cutting-edge brands have all come to the same realization: the path to social business lies through empowering the social employee.
“Great brands have always started on the inside, but why are companies taking so long to leverage the great opportunities offered by internal social media? . . . The Social Employee lifts the lid on this potential and provides guidance for businesses everywhere.” —JEZ FRAMPTON, Global Chairman and CEO, Interbrand
The Social Employee offers an unparalleled behind-the-scenes look at the social business success stories of some of the biggest brand names in the business world, including IBM, AT&T, Dell, Adobe, Southwest Airlines, Cisco, Acxiom, and Domo. These cutting-edge brands have all come to the same realization: the path to social business lies through empowering the social employee.
The brands that leverage their employee base in order to engage customers and prospects through social media are the ones destined to win the marketing wars. This book not only details the astronomical rise of the social employee, but also outlines the innovative methods that leading companies have employed to foster cultures of enthusiastic and engaged workers.
AFTERWORD by Kevin Randall, Vice President of Brand Strategy & Research at
Movéo Integrated Branding, and journalist for The Economist and Fast Company