April 13, 2016
The Power of Standards
They Define the Brand - In previous Branding Updates, we have discussed the role of standards in defining and communicating value, being transparent, and building a strong brand. In fact, standards are the essence of a brand, whether they specify product features or aspects of the service experience. However, it is easy to overlook the benefits that focusing on standards can bring to an organization.
They Affect Culture - Standards affect culture if they are used to articulate desired employee behaviors, for example caring about the customer, being collaborative, or proactively solving problems.
They Empower and Unify Employees - When standards are clear and widely communicated, employees are empowered to make good decisions on their own. In this vein, standards of reliability and quality can be a unifying force for employees, providing the foundation for every conversation about future plans, activities, and decisions. Whenever there is confusion or a debate, reviewing the relevant standards is always clarifying. Employees should be proud of the standards that govern the quality of service delivered to customers.
Try this Exercise: Think of a brand that you like and then try defining the features of the product, or characteristics of the service, that make you a loyal customer. You will find that you are describing standards. And then ask yourself how important it would be for employees to be very aware of these standards and how they affect the brand's success.