Are you nodding or shaking your head yet? Good! Help is on the way! Today's post is about a new book by Gregg Lederman, CEO of Brand Integrity, that is being released later this month (August 27, to be exact). The title of the book is "Engaged! Outbehave Your Competition to Create Customers for Life." (Note: Gregg sent me an advanced copy of the book to read and review.)
Curious about those "three words" I mentioned in the title? Remember them: Live. The. Brand. It's a theme that Gregg builds on and refers to often in the book. It's not a new concept for Gregg, though, as he wrote about it in his first book, Achieve Brand Integrity, as well.
You know me. I'm a fan of consistency!
What does it mean to live the brand? According to Gregg, it means "you KNOW the mission, values, brand positioning, guiding principles, etc. that your company has announced to the workforce and marketplace and you know how to DO them in your day-to-day job." Or, said differently: "when your employees KNOW the brand and DO it consistently by making it a part of their everyday lives at work."
In his second book, Gregg expands on the concept and tells you how (and why) to do it - he tells you how to implement the Living the Brand System. There are three main steps:
- Define the branded experience
- Remind employees about delivering the experience
- Quantify the experience and link to financial results
There are so many great things that I could share about this book; it is an easy-to-read handbook to guide you through your quest to create the ultimate customer experience through engaged employees who live the brand. Gregg's writing style is fresh and engaging. He provides sensible diagrams, how-to lists, examples, step-by-step guidelines, and links to online resources to support the approach.
He outlines the eight guiding principles of success for the Living the Brand System; each principle warrants its own chapter. The first four principles define the Living the Brand System...
1. Get every employee on stage, delivering the experience for customers.
2. Make happy employees to create engaged customers.
3. Don't just announce your culture, make it visible.
4. Sprint from culture talk to culture change.
... while the other four, in the second half of the book, are devoted to quantifying and linking to financial results.
5. Quantify your culture to turn common sense into common practice.
6. Any monkey can survey; start building relationships with customers.
7. Put the carrots away; rewards don't work the way you think they do.
8. Manage the experience to build trust in you as a leader.
Speaking of quantifying, there are no black box metrics here to measure engagement; in the chapter that explains Principle 5, Gregg tells the backstory about the Engaged Index, which questions to ask, why, how to ask them, and how the index is created. I like the theory behind why the questions are asked the way they are asked; it makes total sense to me.
Here are the four questions, which are rated on a 10-point scale, where 10 is something you would definitely say.
- I am motivated to go "above and beyond" what is expected of me at my job.
- I would stay with my organization if offered a similar job elsewhere for slightly higher pay.
- Assume that a friend or family member of yours is currently looking for a job and qualifies for an open position at your company. How likely is it that you would recommend it as a place to work?
- Assume that a friend or family member is interested in your company's products and/or services. How likely is it that you would recommend them?
There's so much good stuff in this book that I'm going to go back and read it again. If you want more details, go to the Engaged Book site. Taking a page out of the Index, I am assuming that you are interested in this book; I would definitely recommend reading it!
"An ENGAGED workforce is made up of employees who are committed and motivated to act in the best interest of your company. ENGAGED customers fall in love with your company, are more loyal, proactively tell others about you, and buy more of your company's products and services (and do so more often). The benefits of engaging your workforce and customers are easy to see and difficult to refute." - Gregg Lederman