Here is a piece of an article to circumstantiate how the HR becomes a crucial part in building brands.
From Gary Billings, Ph.D.
A New Strategic Role for HR
I once read an article in which Mickey Mantle tells about a recurring dream. He’s racing to get to Yankee Stadium in a panic, because he’s late for the game. To his horror the gates to the field are locked. He finds a hole in the centerfield fence and sticks his head through. As he tries to wiggle through the small hole he wakes up drenched in sweat!
Like Mickey Mantle, one of the biggest challenges for Human Resource executives is breaking through the fence to get in the game. In this case the fence is real. But there is an opening if one knows what game to play.
Here’s How: Get Involved With the BrandExcept in a few instances, most companies offer largely undifferentiated products and services; airlines fly the same planes and serve the same food, financial service businesses offer similar advice and investment options, and retail stores offer the same merchandise. The list goes on.
Because of the undifferentiated nature of their businesses, such firms as, Disney, Fidelity, Southwest Airlines, to name a few, have made branding a core element in their business strategy. In many respects, their brand strategy is their business strategy, and vice versa.
A brand, simply put, is a promise to customers that a specific level of value, quality, and service will be received. Think of a brand as a covenant between a business and its customers. The promise is usually communicated through mass media advertising. Here are some current examples.
FedEx – Don’t worry, there’s FedEx
MasterCard – There are some things money can’t buy
Xerox – Break Out
Bose – Better Sound Through Research
GE – Imagination at Work
When a brand promise is not kept, customers flee and go elsewhere. A classic example is the fate that befell Eastern Airlines when it promised to “Earn its Wings Everyday” through superior customer service while at the same time losing bags, canceling flights and serving lousy food.
As a result, the bonds of trust between customers and the airline were irrevocably broken. The net effect was passengers boycotted Eastern in droves and it eventually went out of business killing the brand for eternity.
What went wrong? Eastern Airlines failed to align the behavior of their employees with the brand promise. They failed to understand that the lines of copy in an ad do not deliver a brand promise, nor by an airplane or piece of machinery - it’s delivered by people.
Herein lies the opportunity for Human Resources to get through the fence and into the game, by helping ensure that all of the large and small actions that people take every day, throughout the organization, fall in line with the brand strategy.