For any business that sells products or services, maintaining brand equity is one of the keys to generating greater market share and greater profits, so brand equity is really important! Although marketing is typically the department responsible for brand equity, training and development shouldn’t be overlooked because employee training plays a very significant role in supporting brand equity.
What exactly is brand equity?
Brand equity is the perceived value of your brand. The perceived value of your brand is based on 3 key elements:
1. The quality of the product or services that you offer;
2. Brand awareness, or, how recognizable your brand/logo may be;
3. And finally, customer loyalty to your brand.
So what does employee training have to do with your brand equity?
Your brand’s value begins with your product or service offerings. In order to provide quality products or services your team first needs to be trained on how to develop or deliver them consistently over time; and that’s just the beginning. Once your products are developed or your service offerings are defined, your team needs to be trained on how to sell, market, and support them. This leads us to the concept of customer loyalty.
Customers are influenced as much by their “experience” with a product or service as by with the product or service itself. Since employees are often the “face of customer experience” or your “brand ambassadors, ” they can easily influence customer loyalty, for better or for worse. In fact, should some of your key “brand ambassador-type” employees decide to leave their positions, your brand equity could be substantially reduced. Therefore, employee engagement and retention also needs to be considered within the realm of brand equity.
It’s fairly easy to understand that your employees are at the center of your brand and brand equity; therefore, branding should start from within your organization. According to the American Management Association, “while organizations spend millions to build their brands with customers, many overlook the most important resource for successful branding: their own employees.” Ongoing training not only engages your employees but prepares them to excel at their duties while actively supporting and promoting your brand.
According to Forbes, employee training offers organizations the ultimate targeted branding opportunity. “When looking for opportunities to incorporate branding into employee training, all subjects and courses are fair game. Whether the training involves technical nuts and bolts (operations, systems, or professional certification) or more soft skills (coaching, relationship building, or sales), all have the potential to positively impact company revenue, employee retention, and customer loyalty. In other words, nearly any moment has the potential to be a “brandable” moment.”
Now back to the original question – what does employee training have to do with your brand equity?
Answer: skilled and engaged employees are at the core of your brand equity. Your employees make key contributions through their skills, knowledge, and behavior, so you see; employee training has a heck of a lot to do with your brand equity and your continued success!
Susan Distasio | eLearning Industry Crusader | ePath Learning, Inc.
About the Author: Susan Distasio is an eLearning Industry Crusader focused on advocating for advancement and change in the eLearning and professional development industry. An avid seeker of knowledge and continuous improvement, Susan is happy to share her research, observations, and thoughts regarding “all things related to learning and development.” When she’s not out on the learning crusade, Susan can be found with the wind in her hair riding her Harley or simply enjoying life with her husband and her Siamese cat named Elvis, as well as with family and friends.