For many businesses, who they are and what they stand for are key components of identifying, attracting and retaining customers. How many of us are loyal to a particular brand because of what we perceive it to represent? Maybe we view it as reliable and trustworthy, high quality and luxurious, or, more commonly in recent years, sustainable and environmentally friendly. Whatever it is that we deem to be important, these traits can be just as important to us, if not more so, than the product or service being provided.
A brand is essentially the defining characteristic(s) of a company, a profile of sorts that immediately lets a consumer know what that business is about and why they should buy from them.
Until now, most organisations will base their brand on the message that they wish to portray, the image that they want their customers to have of them. Often, this matches the actual ethos of the company and the type of product being sold, but occasionally there is a mismatch between the way the company is run and the image being presented to the public, and this is when distrust creeps in, and people begin to doubt the legitimacy of the claims that the business makes.
The common factor in every company brand is that it is self-defined. A group of people within the business, whether that’s senior management, the board or the marketing team, choose which characteristic they think is the most suited to their ethos, their product and the business. This makes sense, given that they know the business better than anyone else, but with anything that is self-selected, there is an inherent bias and an element of disingenuity.
What if there was a different way to define and present a business brand? What if it was based not on the chosen traits that a CEO believes will attract the most customers and therefore generate the most profit, but instead on the actual feelings and wellbeing of the people that work there? Society is becoming more attuned to the need to not just treat employees as robots, but to pay attention to and nurture their mental health and wellbeing in order to get the best out of them, and help them thrive.
If you were to monitor the general wellbeing of employees and view analysis of the trends and patterns in mood, you could generate a picture of how the workforce feels, and what it’s like to work in a particular company. If numerous people report feeling stressed and anxious, then perhaps it’s not such a pleasant place to work. And if a company doesn’t treat its staff well, then can it really claim to be upstanding in other areas?
Using such group mood tracking technology can provide an additional feature – by having the data of the whole group to hand, it’s possible to assess the impact of particular strategies, events and instances on the overall wellbeing of the organisation. Businesses could therefore implement plans that will improve the morale of staff, creating a more supportive and accepting environment where people enjoy coming to work – feelings that will be demonstrated in the data.
This could prove powerful as a representation of the company as a whole. Being able to ascribe these feelings as the values of the company, which is authenticated by the data and the self-reported experiences of the people who work there every day, could transform how a brand is perceived. Once upon a time, revenue, profit and market share would be the be all and end all, but that’s not enough anymore. In crowded marketplaces, there needs to be a differentiator that sets a business apart from the rest. A brand that reflects the true nature of the business may enable companies to better attract and retain staff, but they will also appeal more to consumers as a friendly, caring organisation – if they care about their staff, it’s likely that they’ll care about their customers too.
The YU dashboard can do all the above. By implementing our app amongst your employees, and then reviewing the aggregated (and anonymised) data on our dashboard, you will be able to ascertain the emotional status of your organisation, and use that information to plan and implement strategies that will improve or maintain a positive work culture. And because our app links each moment to a life aspect, it will be easy to tell whether an emotion is related to work or another area of life.
Investing in the wellbeing of your people might be the best way to elevate the integrity and transparency of your brand.