Jul 26, 2008

Loyalty doesn't have to be an endangered species Has brand loyalty disappeared? I don't think so...not for employer or consumer brands. I am loyal to brands that are loyal to me. However, I do feel the price of loyalty has changed. The price of loyalty, for instance from employees, used to be - Give me a job, now that is not enough. The same for consumers - Give me a good product at a good price. The value exchange was relatively low. People rush to say that loyalty doesn't exist any more, consumers and employees are promiscuous - I don't believe that. For instance, when I look round my office and my house, I am still brand loyal but only if the brand sees that value exchange has increased - price and quality are now a given, I want to be treated with respect. I think this is true in the workplace as well - loyalty is still there if you deliver against the employer brand values. So what has changed? Well, loyalty CAN be gained by Moving from seeing the person as an employee, to seeing the employee as a person. Moving from seeing the 'bum on the seat' as the asset, to the brain on the shoulders as the asset. Moving from seeing the control of the individual as important, to trusting the control to the individual. Moving from offering a job, to offering a career development plan Moving from hiring people, to hiring people with the same values as the brand People are promiscuous with their buying habits and their jobs, when you offer no other reason than price or pay. If you connect with them through a payslip or invoice, this is what you are doing....if you connect with them as people you are fulfilling that very basic need of feeling valued. As a leader, one thing you should ask "Should the company be asking for a credit note against your payslip last month?" And the only way to find out is by asking if the value you provided, created value in the company and.... You only create that value through people. When you and your team revel in creating that value, loyalty is such a wonderful by-product.
Lacking Motivation? Enjoy the enjoyment Business can be fun, it can be exciting, even exhilarating....and then there are those times when the mundane tasks take over, when you are demotivated. It is during these times that I think it is important to "enjoy the enjoyment" factor... Let me give you an example, outside of work. You may be struggling with a child who refuses to do the chores or there is a fight over bedtime etc At this point, you get lost in the issue at hand and parenting becomes boring, becomes hard work. This contrasts when you held that baby in your arms for the first time, and you were bedazzled at the thought of creating a new life.....Sometimes day to day problems can mask the bigger picture enjoyment that is still there, if you remind yourself from time to time. We all have tasks at work to do that we wish some mysterious angel would appear and do for us....but these are steps, steps along the way to something much bigger. As leaders, as marketers the big picture is about how we can affect someone's life for the better. How we can change the world even in a small way. Motivation comes from seeing the whole picture, not necessarily from each individual task. If you are not motivated or feeling a lack of energy - or indeed your team is - then take that step back and enjoy the enjoyment. Enjoyment comes from seeing what your role is, how you can change the world, how you can make the world a better place for other people. In the grand scheme of being a world changer...then those little problems, those mundane tasks are just a small necessity to you making that small dent in the world... As Dad used to say "If you hate filling out expense sheets, then think of the smile from the person who will receive it on time, knowing that one person...YOU... has made their day easier. It is no longer an expense sheet but a gift of a smile..." Now I fill out smile sheets.....amazing the difference in motivation!

Anna Farmery

Social Marketing Architect, Speaker, Author and in spare time completing PhD on the future of the social business model

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