Baristas, broken hearts and customer experiences – aligning brands and people

This week Caffe Nero announced a new customer app, a move into FMCG coffee sales and an upgraded food product range. But what Nero won’t be fiddling with is the brand. Key to their positioning is the way they deliver a one-to-one brand experience – their organisational alignment. Head of Marketing, Marcus Denison-Smith says ‘When you come into a Nero the barista that takes your order also makes your drink and takes your money.” “People don’t notice…but the barista will remember you and your drink.” And there was our Rick thinking that our local Nero manageress only had eyes for him…

Staff on-brand

But broken hearts aside, the organisational alignment displayed by the Nero team is impressive. Even more noteworthy is the way the brand and the people who deliver it have influenced the product offer. Describing the rebuilding of the Nero food menu Denison Smith says, “Everyone’s proud of the brand, of the coffee, but people [staff] have probably been less proud of the other products we serve…how can these guys sell a slice of cake with the same vigour as they would talk about a flat white?”

Keep it simple

Aligning staff with your brand is no easy thing. The marketing world is littered with poster-children for poor brand delivery. Switched broadband recently? No we don’t blame you. But neither should it be rocket science. That’s why we developed “Brands are like People”, a flexible, engaging and practical means to help staff understand, value and deliver brands. Based on a simple thought, our proprietary methodology encourages staff to understand why brands are important, what their brand stands for and generate their own initiatives to deliver it.

Return on investment

The principles of aligning people and brands are the same in every sector, from asset management to the arts. To apply them requires an understanding of the practical needs of each client and the sector in which they operate. We use our wide experience to develop a tailored approach for clients of all sizes and budgets which enables them to deliver the brand experience at every level. In each case the return on investment has more than justified the initial outlay.

If you’d like to find out more about organisational alignment contact James Page.