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"Your People Can Make or Break Your Brand", Employers Warned

Article date: Thu, 28 Jun 2012 11:48 GMT

Samantha Carey, general manager at consultancy Impact UK

Many business owners are oblivious to the power their employees have over brand identity. A team that lives and breathes the company values will have a direct positive effect on sales while disengaged employees who dilute the marketing message will damage a brand's reputation.

At a round table debate discussing great workplaces, a panel of experts warned business bosses that employees' social network profiles and online activity outside of work hours can affect the business both positively and negatively.

Samantha Carey, general manager at consultancy Impact UK, holder of the seventh place in this year's Great Workplaces medium list explained: "The company's marketing brand has to extend into the employer brand - one is an extension of the other. Buyers can now find out everything there is to know about your business and the people in it through social networks, so it is increasingly important that the people in your organisation understand they are the face of your organisation.

"Clients are making decisions about you before you have even spoken to them; when you are pitching to them it is more than likely that they have already made their minds up."

Jonathan Bowers, managing director of UKFast - who also placed in the Great Workplaces top ten medium list, and host of the roundtable event - highlighted the importance of the type of people you recruit from the start, rather than their behaviour once they join the company.

"It all comes down to the business knowing exactly what their culture is and recruiting within that culture. People are at the core of every business and are the ultimate marketing, sales and customer service tool.

"A great team of people who share your brand's message in everything they do is the most powerful marketing tool, and it is free. This is why we place such a high importance on building a fantastic workplace and culture at UKFast; our recruitment process is strict to ensure we only ever add people who will enhance rather than dilute our culture."

Sam Gregory, managing director of B2B at Tangerine PR, continued: "Businesses must be aware of what type of culture they want and what type of people they want to build it because ultimately it is these people who are going to build and emanate that culture."

Carey continued: "The recruitment process is vitally important, finding the right people who are not going to disrupt the status quo and the culture, but who are going to add to it.

"When our people are asked what makes us a great place to work, they all say it's the people. It is really important to find the right people and give them the freedom to create the great culture and the atmosphere and to build strong relationships with each other."

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