Bentley College Marketing- Honors

This blog is for MK 402-H01 and the greater Bentley College population.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Does Your Company Truly Matter? Part 1 and 2

“Does your company truly matter?” What a great question Spike Jones poses! Although, I suppose there are those business people who only care about the bottom line, I am not one of them. I believe that companies should matter. This posting on the Brains on Fire blog puts forward ten questions any company can use to examine how much its brand matters. Spike Jones reminds the reader that “Companies that truly matter have a competitive advantage. They espouse values we believe in. They invite us to be the person we aspire to be. They move us to dream of making the world a better place to live. And sometimes companies that truly matter do business in a way that leaves us feeling more valued.”

This blog “Does Your Company Truly Matter? Part 1 and Part 2” does relate to marketing in several ways. Jones discusses marketing through the concepts of branding and customer relationships. Although all of Jones’ questions were note worthy, I found a few of his questions especially interesting. One such question deals with the strength of a company’s brand. Jones asks “If your company were (heaven forbid) to be hit by a bus tomorrow and exterminated, would your brand live on without you? In other words, is your brand loyalty so strong it’s self-sustaining?” Personally, it took me less than a second to think of the brands that I would try to keep alive after they went under, but there were only a few. For brand managers, this is an important question and should be their ultimate goal.

In such a profit driven society this article informs marketing by reminding us that brands can have a significant impact on their employees, customers, and society in general. A few examples of the issues discussed in these ten questions are that the core of a brand is its promise, employees and customers should be fans of a brand, employees should enjoy coming to work and not be afraid to give their opinion.

Although several of the ideas expressed in this blog may be considered common sense, I believe they are often overlooked. Throughout my marketing career here at Bentley, I have discussed many of the issues presented in this blog, but until recently I have not discussed the crucial role of employees. Jones did improve my understanding of the relationship between employees and a strong brand. Jones poses many important questions I would not have predicted would be in the top ten:
“If we randomly chose one of your employees and one of your customers, and put them in a room with each other, would a passionate brand lovefest break out between these two strangers?”
“Do you have talented people invading you with resumes?”
“If you threw an optional employee party, how many of your employees would attend?”
“Are your employees encouraged and empowered to speak up… or to shut up at work?”
“What is so important about your brand that you would work on it without compensation?”
These were five out of the ten questions posed and they all had to deal with employee relationships. In the past I have always known that good customer service would strengthen the public’s perception of a company, but I had never considered every single employee as a crucial part of a company’s success.

Because I truly found this blog to be interesting and thought-provoking, it is hard for me to critique. While this posting is thorough, there are not many examples provided. NASA’s overall vision of helping to put a man on the moon is given as an example of a company’s entrepreneurial inspiration. On the one hand, I feel as though it could be useful to provide a few examples of companies that do matter and can give positive answers to several of the questions in this blog; however, on the other hand, I feel as though it is important to leave the reader with the task of examining his/her own company and not complicate things by providing examples of competitors. In addition, several questions could most likely only be answered by employees with insider knowledge of the company’s culture. After thoughtful consideration, I did have one idea for an eleventh question: Is the brand personality of your company clear and easily recognizable by consumers? More specifically, if you asked any person on the street to describe your brand’s personality would they all say the same thing?

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