The People and Process Podcast

Pygmies, Anthropology and Cognitive Dissonance

April 09, 2020 Kirsten Gibbs and James Crawley
The People and Process Podcast
Pygmies, Anthropology and Cognitive Dissonance
The People and Process Podcast
Pygmies, Anthropology and Cognitive Dissonance
Apr 09, 2020
Kirsten Gibbs and James Crawley

What's the difference between Employer Brand and Promise of Value?  Is your branding different from your brand?  Is all this just presentation?  In this episode James and Kirsten talk about all this with special guest Anwen Cooper of Get Fruitful Marketing. 

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Show Notes Transcript

What's the difference between Employer Brand and Promise of Value?  Is your branding different from your brand?  Is all this just presentation?  In this episode James and Kirsten talk about all this with special guest Anwen Cooper of Get Fruitful Marketing. 

If you enjoyed this, why not leave a review?   

James Crawley:   0:03
So today you'll notice that we don't have quite so much room to spread out. But let me make it clear. I'm not suggesting that either is expanding horizontally, but we have a pleasure of some company. Welcome Anwen from Get Fruitful Marketing.

Kirsten Gibbs:   0:16
Hello. It's really nice to have you here.  So last time we ended by asking, What's the difference between a promise of value and an employer brand?

James Crawley:   0:29
Yeah, I've been thinking about that. that. And I'm not sure there is a difference.  

Kirsten Gibbs:   0:46

James Crawley:   0:46
Where I think there might be a perception of a difference. Is in employer brand and employer branding?

Kirsten Gibbs:   0:46

James Crawley:   0:46
What would your take on that be Anwen?

Anwen Cooper:   0:46
Well I would say your brand is really the essence of the experience that you're trying to take to market, so that could be a product or service or a job.   And, for me I would say that the branding is about how you package that up. So I sometimes talk about apples and give that as an example. So you can think about the fact there's lots of different types of apples out there. Coxes, Russets, Braeburn, that sort of thing and from a distance in the shop, they can all look pretty similar. But as you get closer, you'll start to notice that they each have an individual look. That might be the colour or the shape. And they'll have a different sticker on them that will help you distinguish.  And you can apply that to business as well. You can think each business has its own unique flavour, its own unique look and feel and  the way that you package that up with branding is things like the logos and colours and typography and sort of visual elements that you put around the way that you're presenting your business in the world. So, yeah, it's it's all that stuff, Really.

Kirsten Gibbs:   1:49
So you're saying there's a difference between what I'd call the Promise of Value and how you present that to the world as it were, Okay.

Anwen Cooper:   2:00
But they should be congruent.  Have integrity. They need to be in alignment.

Kirsten Gibbs:   2:05
Yes, most definitely, because I think when they're not, that can be very damaging. So I mean, a very old example. Remember many years ago, the old Midland Bank used to have a strap line that was "the listening bank" but it took ages to get through to them on the phone so that you know how it actually worked didn't live up to the promise. And I think nowadays probably an example, might be something like Amazon, where, you know, they're very focused on customer service and making it easy to buy and all the rest of it. But, for example, I don't buy from Amazon because I don't like the way they appear to treat the people who work for them. And it seems to me those two things have to be have to be congruent. Otherwise, there's a cognitive dissonance that at least I can't cope with. Which means I, I don't want to buy

James Crawley:   3:01
Yeah, for me consistency in promise of value equals consistency in what the company perceives its brand to be and presents to the outside world. And it is vital that the two marry up because if a company presents itself, for example, as an amazing employer and the reality is that it's not delivering on that promise, then the company ultimately won't be successful because eventually it'll lose all its best people.

Kirsten Gibbs:   3:26
Okay, so Anwen. Let's think about this. So we have a theoretical client. Let's call it  "pygmy" who have grown exponentially. And the owner, Bobette, is no longer packing parcels personally in hand, delivering to her clients. She's now got 30 staff, the business is mainly online. So she has a very strong popular social media following, and she's going to double this year in size in terms of staff numbers. So what's.  For her, what's the challenge in protecting her Promise of Value,  Brand and branding?

Anwen Cooper:   4:10
Well, I would imagine that she's probably grown organically and, you know, the company will have evolved over time, and before she knew it, she suddenly got 30 people and a lot of the early hires will probably be people that reflect some element of her personality as we tend to hire in our own image, for better or worse. So she will have a set of values that will have guided her in the way that she's set up and grown the company so far.  And probably hired people who share her personal passion, the purpose or vision that she's got for the business. The problem will probably start to emerge when she gets the point where she's not personally hiring new staff on so when she brings in a sort of middle management tier. And the challenge, then is how to make sure that her original founder's passion and purpose, doesn't get diluted or distracted, diverted in a different direction. So she needs to find a way to document and codify those values and create a very clear sort of guidelines for the culture that she wants to see in the business. And then those values need to be properly embodied by all of the team members. So there needs to be a set of criteria that people have to measure up against when she's qualifying new recruits on that should also then filter down into performance management through things like appraisals. So I would say it starts from a point of being really intentional about the company culture that you want to create and certainly becomes critical when you've got more than, say, a handful or a dozen employees. But it's not just for big businesses, you know, even when you're starting out, you can be thinking about this sort of thing from day one,

James Crawley:   5:55
And I absolutely agree with that, and I've often said to growth clients it might seem like overkill right now to be putting in place all these processes when you're only 15 people, or even less than that. But if you put them in now, they'll protect you. Protect your people as you grow, which make the transition from small company to medium company and then from a medium company to a large company so much easier.

Kirsten Gibbs:   6:16
Yeah, actually, what's interesting about that.  It's like all these things you know, whether it's software or business processes, if you put the effort in up front, it seems like you're doing overkill. But actually what it does is mean you can go faster later.

James Crawley:   6:35

Anwen Cooper:   6:36
And what you don't want is a rogue employee joining the team and maybe damaging your brand

James Crawley:   6:40
Nor disrupting your team.

Kirsten Gibbs:   6:41
Oh no, no, definitely, not I mean, I unfortunately have had experience of that, which makes me shudder every time I think about it, because I actually interviewed a person for a company that I was working in, and they seemed perfect in the interview, and they were wonderful for the probation period. And then as soon as they were through the probation period, they turned into something completely different.  And, which  wasn't just hard to manage on an individual basis, because one of the things that appeared was, they didn't want to work, and they didn't want anybody else to work either, because that would hide the fact that they were so bad and that that was a really terrible experience that I don't want to do again.

James Crawley:   7:28
Now I find this. There's too types of disruptive people. So there's someone like that who is almost like undercover, disruptive, if you like. You don't realise you got a problem till its actually too late, and everything is already being disrupted. And then you get the superstars. So people are coming with an amazing sales track record, for example. But the trouble is, these superstars tend to leave a trail of destruction behind them. And that destabilises the team.

Kirsten Gibbs:   7:54
Yeah, and actually, that's a really interesting example, because I remember hearing years ago Anthropologie, which is  a retail company. They don't do advertising. They just create the kind of experience in their shop that you want to go into if you like them. It's kind of like, if you're into the what they do, you cannot resist it. You are sucked into that shop, and if you're not, you're not. You just walk past. But I also heard that they are willing to sack people who might look like really good salespeople. So the story I heard was that part of their promise of value is "we will make sure that you leave our shop wearing something that really makes you look good." And they were, they found somebody working in one of the shops who was doing really well and selling lots of stuff. And in the end, they sacked them, because what they were doing was persuading people to buy things that didn't really suit them. So those people weren't happy. They came back and returned them. And so they were really, really careful to make sure everything they did lived up to their promise of value, which I think is pretty good, actually unusual.  

James Crawley:   9:15

Anwen Cooper:   9:16
That's a great example and what I'm really interested to hear about that is, it's to do with the trade off or balancing between the long term and short term aims of the company and between purpose and profit. And I think companies need to be really clear from the outset about what they want to be contributing and creating in the long and the short term. So they need to be clear on what kind of customers they want to be attracting and what kind of team they want to be growing. And the kind of value that they're creating for those people. And people shouldn't be afraid to filter out people who don't quite match up to the ideal customer or the ideal team member and that might feel a bit uncomfortable because you're gonna be turning people away sometimes if they're not a good match. And I guess that takes a certain amount of courage and faith that if you turn somebody away today, the right person will come along tomorrow. But I think people need to set their standards high and maintain integrity with their vision to attract their ideal outcomes.

Kirsten Gibbs:   10:12
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think so, really, what you're saying is, if you are in it for the long term, playing an infinite game, if you like, you need to think about your values early on and how you're helping your people and your customers to fulfil their values. And that's what makes the whole thing sustainable. You've actually got everybody working together on the same thing.

James Crawley:   10:40
Yeah, I think in order to do that, we need to explore that Kirsten. And I think we need to do that in the dedicated episode on values. And I think we should invite Anwen to join us again for that?  

Kirsten Gibbs:   10:51
Oh yeah, that'd be brilliant. Thank you.  

Anwen Cooper:   10:53
Thank you.