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Brilliance@Work: Generational Marketing Expert Jane Buckingham

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Welcome to Brilliance@Work, a series of profiles about stellar collaboration professionals and their best practices at work. Throughout May, we’ll feature Marketing Analytics & Data Science experts.

Jane Buckingham is Founder and CEO, Trendera, and a best-selling author. She’s also a presenter at the Marketing Analytics & Data Science Conference on June 8-10, 2016 in San Francisco, California.

Jane Buckingham

Jane Buckingham

As a preview to her presentation “Deciphering Generations X, Y, and V: How to Understand Next Generations and their Trends for Guaranteed Reach,” Jane shares insights on the importance of understanding generations for business success.

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: What are some key strategies for marketing to different generations?
Jane Buckingham: There are a few ways to approach this. If your brand is going for a particular age and niche, then you want a generational approach, in which case you want to appeal to the emotional and psychographic needs of that particular generation. Try to understand what sets them apart from the previous generations.

Is it a tone, is it a location, is it inspiring the brand fanatics and hypertailoring (appealing to younger generations), or redefining happiness and success (more Gen X), or helping to inspire and enlighten (for Gen Y)?

On the other side, if you are looking to cut across generations, you may be looking to talk to a mindset over the market. Looking to understand what your particular group of people thinks, what is it about your brand that will be appealing to someone no matter what their age? Are they fitness enthusiasts looking for purpose? Are they looking for comfort? Are they looking for safety? Some of these core values are cross generational and may be appealing no matter what the age.

PB: How do you address the challenge of everyone agreeing on a standard of when generations begin and end?
JB: This has gotten a lot trickier since Douglas Coupland wrote Generation X in 1991, and we started segmenting generations by 15 year periods versus 20 year periods. It became much less clear where and when a generation starts and stops.

Technically, generations are really defined by the factors that affect them as they grow up, and the cultural shifts in the world. But, how something will affect someone who is two at the time a generation is coined is going to be much different than how it affects someone who is 18 at the time it is coined, so usually someone who is right in the middle feels most ‘like’ that generation.

So, even if people are off by a year or two, it doesn’t really matter. The bigger challenge is that often marketers are talking about a marketing segment by a “media” age that can be purchased (like 18-34 or 35-54), and that will cut across two generations, but they don’t want to really think about that so they just sort of move the dates to accommodate the media buy.

They will say Millennials are 18-34, when really right now 18-34 would include Millennials and Gen V. In fact, many people seem to think that Millennials are still teenagers because they’ve been the emerging generation for so long, when actually the youngest of them are about 20.

PB: How is data the greatest equalizer in marketing?
JB: Data helps to try to “prove” things. The idea is that big data can help quantify what we speculate about and provide greater insight into what we are thinking, doing and how we are behaving.

I LOVE data. And I love that we now have more access to more data than ever. It allows retailers to see how consumers shop, and how price and value works versus brand.

One of the most exciting things about data for marketers and consumers is that advertising is going to start feeling less and less like advertising. Thanks to increasingly sophisticated analytics and predictive modeling, both big and small brands can tap information that will allow them to connect consumers to products and services that are truly relevant and interesting to them.

That said, data isn’t a silver bullet, and can’t and shouldn’t be seen as one. Numbers only tell you part of the story and you need to interpret them carefully. It’s just as important to talk to your consumer to understand the why behind the numbers and any subtleties that the numbers might not reveal.

PB: What will people gain from attending your conference presentation?
JB: I’m hoping that attendees will better understand the differences between the generations – as marketers, employers, parents, siblings – so that they can better relate to them, market to them and listen to them.

In addition, I’ll be talking about the macro trends that will be affecting these generations for the next several years as well as some fun trends that are happening now.

Overall, I want the audience to feel like they are better versed in who their next consumers are and who they will be.

Want to hear more from Jane? Join us at the Marketing Analytics & Data Science Conference. Learn, network and share best practices with the most influential leaders in data science and analytics. Stay connected at #MADSCONF.


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Brilliance@Work: Technology Researcher Wayne Huang

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Welcome to Brilliance@Work, a series of profiles about stellar collaboration professionals and their best practices at work. Throughout May, we’ll feature Marketing Analytics & Data Science experts.

Wayne Huang is a Research Manager at Twitter. He’s also a presenter at the Marketing Analytics & Data Science Conference on June 8-10, 2016 in San Francisco, California.

Wayne Huang

Wayne Huang

As a preview to his presentation “Mo’ Problems, Mo’ Money: Customer Service Matters More than You Think,” Wayne shared insights on how social media is transforming the way consumers interact with brands.

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: How does Twitter help to shape the future of online social media?
Wayne Huang:  As someone with a background in both engineering and in social science, what I find most interesting about Twitter is how it has completely upended the way we communicate.

We’re used to jumping through hoops to talk to a human being at a company. It’s nearly impossible these days to find the phone number of the company you’re trying to reach. But, what strikes me most about Twitter is that brands actually proactively engage in conversations with customers, and not hide behind a maze of automated phone menus.

One of my most memorable Twitter experiences was when I once tweeted a question to Virgin Atlantic, and they responded to my tweet in less than three seconds. That was an incredible interaction that I’ll always remember. It’s a leveling of the playing field between big companies and consumers that wouldn’t have happened without social media.

PB: How does Twitter data help tell a marketing story?
WH: Twitter is an incredibly rich source of data. Every day, close to half a billion tweets are sent. Search for any topic, and I guarantee you’ll find someone tweeting about it.

For brands, Twitter is like the biggest permanent focus group in the world, free for you to search to find what your customers really think about you. For example, John Legere, the CEO of T-Mobile, famously spends a ton of time on Twitter searching for what his customers love and hate about T-Mobile. He also responds directly to tweets from users, who were so shocked that he tweeted them that they’re now clamoring to switch to T-Mobile.

PB: How can brands do better on Twitter?
WH: Companies should see Twitter as the public, human face of their brands. By human, I mean imagine that your brand is a human being, and imagine your social media conversations as real human conversations you’re having with other human beings.

For example, no one in real life actually wants to be friends with someone who just keeps blabbing on about how he or she is the greatest person in the world. Similarly, your Twitter profile shouldn’t be a one-way conversation where you just post links to corporate press releases or generic product shots.

Instead, engage with your customers. Post advice and tips. Answer their questions and respond to their tweets as quickly as possible. Retweet your users’ content, such as when they post a beautiful photo. Like your users’ content, and thank them when they give you feedback. That gives your users the feeling of a “win.”

It’s basic social reciprocity— just as we need to give and take in our daily relationships, so should brands on Twitter.

PB: What will people gain from attending your conference presentation?
WH: Businesses often struggle to understand what their customers are really thinking. In my presentation, I’ll talk about the pitfalls of relying on self-reported surveys when conducting customer research.

I’ll then showcase a novel experiment we ran on Twitter where we tested how a good (or bad) customer service experience from a brand affects the customer’s future decision-making process.

In that experiment, we found thousands of users who had a customer service interaction with an airline on Twitter and how we quantified— in dollar terms— how the customer changed their behavior after those positive interactions. For example, after a good experience, is that customer more willing to fly the airline again? Or will they just default for the cheapest carrier?

We’ll also discuss some interesting findings from recent psychology experiments that businesses should adopt if they want to impress their customers.

Want to hear more from Wayne? Join us at the Marketing Analytics & Data Science Conference. Learn, network and share best practices with the most influential leaders in data science and analytics. Stay connected at #MADSCONF.


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Brilliance@Work: Video Storytelling Expert Rocky Walls

Swirling Stars

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Welcome to Brilliance@Work, a series of profiles about stellar collaboration professionals and their best practices at work.

Rocky Walls

Rocky Walls

Rocky Walls is the man behind the wheel on the 12 Stars Media bus. When he’s not working alongside fellow 12 Stars team members, he’s consulting one-on-one with companies about using video in their marketing and communication plans or engaging rooms full of communicators by speaking in places like Microsoft HQ or Walt Disney World.

Join Rocky at the Advanced Learning Institute’s Strategic Internal Branding Conference, April 19-21 in Scottsdale, Arizona as he presents “Using Storytelling and Video to Strengthen Your Internal Brand Campaigns to Inform and Inspire Employees to Live Your Brand.”

In the meantime, read on to learn more about Rocky and his insights on effective video storytelling.

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: What are you most interested in and speak most enthusiastically about?
Rocky Walls: I love presenting to marketers and communicators about the simplicity of discovering and sharing the passion and drive that already exists within their organization. One of my favorite words is “entelechy,” which means “the realization of potential.” We spend a lot of energy trying to create engaging stories and inspiring messages, when most of the best ones are right under our noses all the time.

PB: What are some of your past and current projects that you are most proud of?
RW: We just recently (within the last two weeks) finished a multi-part series of videos for an enterprise organization to use in promoting their new global employee recognition program. It was so exciting to capture the excitement of employees around the world. The pride they had in their organization and their colleagues could be seen in every smile.

PB: How does video strengthen your internal branding efforts?
RW: At our organization, 12 Stars media, we have a culture of “always on” and it’s never unexpected when someone pulls out their smartphone to ask you some questions or ask you to share a little about what you are excited to work on today. I think that’s what makes our brand so approachable. We live it every day and prove it with video.

PB: What will people gain from attending the Strategic Internal Branding Conference?
RW: This conference will not only be an opportunity to learn from industry-leading practitioners but, perhaps more importantly, it will be an opportunity to build connections that last well beyond the conference itself. I am still talking regularly with connections I made at Advanced Learning Institute conferences last year.

PB: What is most important for people to understand from your conference workshop?
RW: My conference workshop will probably be one of the most hands-on video training experiences many attendees have had. We will talk about practical, put-it-into-practice-today tips for recording better smartphone video. But we won’t just talk about it; we will actually record video during the workshop and attendees will be provided with real-time feedback. It will be a lot of fun!

PB: What is your contact information for questions, comments, ideas?
RW: I can be reached most quickly and easily on Twitter. Send me a tweet at @RockyWalls anytime.

Register for the Strategic Internal Branding Conference. Together we’ll learn about using authentic internal branding communications to create brand champions, build culture and engage employees to live and deliver on the brand promise.

Since I’m a conference supporter, just mention Starry Blue Brilliance when you register to receive a $200 discount. 🙂

Please share this information with your networks. The Twitter hashtag is #ALI_IntBranding.


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Brilliance@Work: Brand Storytelling Expert Denise Roberts McKee

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Welcome to Brilliance@Work, a series of profiles about stellar collaboration professionals and their best practices at work.

Denise Roberts McKee

Denise Roberts McKee

Denise Roberts McKee is the Chief Operating Officer at AboutFace Media, which creates brand storytelling initiatives told through the lens of independent film’s most acclaimed documentary filmmakers.

Denise brings her years of experience working with leading brands to conferences and seminars worldwide, with a focus on content development and marketing. In 2014, The Online Marketing Institute named her one of the Top 40 Digital Strategists in Marketing.

Prior to joining AboutFace, Denise co-founded the companies LimeLife, Inc., a publisher of mobile media for women, and Stunt Puppy Entertainment, an independent developer of CD-ROM games focused on the children’s market.

Join Denise at the Advanced Learning Institute’s Strategic Internal Branding Conference, April 19-21 in Scottsdale, Arizona as she presents “Authentic Storytelling in a Digital Age – How to Get Your Message Seen, Believed and Remembered.”

In the meantime, read on to learn more about Denise and her insights on effective storytelling.

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: What are you most interested in and speak most enthusiastically about?
Denise Roberts McKee: I love speaking about video content, storytelling in particular. It can be such a powerful and effective means of communicating and connecting when done well. I also know how daunting a task it can appear to be, so I really enjoy sharing practical advice and approaches that, hopefully, make tackling the process a bit easier.

PB: What are some of your past and current projects that you are most proud of?
DRM:
I am especially proud of the work we’ve done featuring military veterans. A few years ago we created a series for Sears about their “Heroes at Home” program that provides home repairs and upgrades for veterans facing hardship. My favorite episode featured “Hoppy” Hopkins, a WWII vet. Every Friday, Hoppy headed to downtown Lynchburg, Virginia to lead a group of veterans who pay tribute to the troops who were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. We were so lucky to capture his amazing story before he passed away in 2009. Watch it at: http://aboutfacemedia.com/work/sears-hoppy-hopkins

As for current projects, we have a short film screening at film festivals that I’m in love with. “Operation Allie” is a personal short documentary by Manny Marquez, one of our directors. The film features Manny’s brother Anthony, a vet of the war in Afghanistan, on a quest to find one of his best friends from his days in combat – his bomb-sniffing dog partner, Allie. It’s amazing, and guaranteed to bring a tear to your eye. For more info, go to http://www.bigskyfilmfest.org/festival/films-2016-peak/operation_allie

PB: How does digital storytelling support internal brand strategy?
DRM:
A key component in any internal brand strategy is employee buy-in. If employees don’t readily participate and feel part of the process, or the organization as a whole, all the content and budget in the world won’t get you past Step 1. Thoughtful, well-crafted storytelling content has the ability to make a personal connection, start an ongoing two-way conversation and help employees feel that you are communicating with them, not talking at them.

PB: What will people gain from attending the Strategic Internal Branding Conference?
DRM:
I’ve had the pleasure of leading many ALI workshops over the years. What’s unique about ALI is an amazing sense of community. You meet others with similar experiences, facing similar challenges and together you share, discuss, learn and problem-solve. You’ll leave with tons of take-aways, and make great, lasting connections. It will be three days well spent. I promise.

PB: What is most important for people to understand from your conference workshop?
DRM:
While I do try to provide as much practical advice as possible, it’s not a step-by-step checklist. There is no right way or wrong way of creating video content. It needs to meet your objectives and speak to your audience.

There are many types of video, story-based is just one. It’s up to you to “do the homework” before you begin shooting to make sure you’re starting with the best approach. I don’t want you to waste time, resources and most importantly, budget on content that is not positioned for success.

That being said, if you take the time to thoughtfully develop your strategy, at a certain point you can’t be afraid to pull the trigger. To quote Nike, you gotta “Just Do It” and use the results to learn, adjust and continue forward.

PB: What is your contact information for questions, comments, ideas?
DRM:
denise@aboutfacemedia.com

Register for the Strategic Internal Branding Conference. Together we’ll learn about using authentic internal branding communications to create brand champions, build culture and engage employees to live and deliver on the brand promise.

Since I’m a conference supporter, just mention Starry Blue Brilliance when you register to receive a $200 discount. 🙂

Please share this information with your networks. The Twitter hashtag is #ALI_IntBranding.


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How to Enhance the Employee Experience through Technology

SplitShire-0160Photo: splitshire.com

“Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, tradition and myth frame our response.” – Arthur Schlesinger, Historian

In “The 11 Vital Internal Communications Trends You’d Be Crazy to Ignore,” Shel Holtz states that “with employees able to see instantly what their work team peers, project peers, bosses and other employees are doing, they feel more connected and, as a result, get more engaged.”

New technology is a driving force for creating and improving the employee experience. In my profile of internal communications expert Chuck Gose, he explained that, “each technology has its own strengths and weaknesses. Make sure your stories play to the technology’s strength.”

Learn how technology can boost your internal brand and culture as Chuck Gose presents “Enhance Your Employee Experience through New Technologies that Align with Your Organization and Communication Campaign Goals” at the Strategic Internal Branding Conference, April 19-21 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

During this session, you’ll learn about many new technologies so you can:

  • Use the employee experience as a driving force for the customer experience
  • Secure organizational buy-in into technology investments
  • Introduce new technologies into the workplace to improve communications and enhance the employee experience

Register for the Strategic Internal Branding Conference. Together we’ll learn about using authentic internal branding communications to create brand champions, build culture and engage employees to live and deliver on the brand promise.

Since I’m a conference supporter, just mention Starry Blue Brilliance when you register to receive a $200 discount. 🙂

Please share this information with your networks. The Twitter hashtag is #ALI_IntBranding.


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Speaking Authentically Delivers on Your Brand Promise

AmpliferPhoto by Andrei Baicus

Your employees are your best advocates for business success. But you must carefully plan how to help them spread their love of your organization.

In “8 Steps to Turn Staffers into Online Brand Ambassadors,” Courtney Howell states that “when provided with proper training and the right tools, employees can add value to a company’s social media program by driving engagement online, amplifying branded content, and building valuable relationships with referral sources, potential partners and prospects.”

In my profile of internal communications consultant and author Paul Barton, ABC, he explained that, “the tone you use to communicate to employees can have a powerful effect on employee perceptions, attitudes and behaviors. Digital Age employees need communications that speak to them in an authentic voice and communications that treat them like valued business partners.”

Learn how to inspire your employees to deliver on your brand promise as Paul Barton, ABC presents “Finding the Voice of Your Organization’s Brand” at the Strategic Internal Branding Conference, April 19-21 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

This mini-workshop will include real examples and proven practical approaches used in a variety of organizational cultures in multiple industries. During this session, you’ll discover how to:

  • Find the right branded tone for your organization
  • Develop the supporting tools you need to enhance employee engagement and drive desired brand behavior
  • Build your brand from the inside-out powerfully and simply with the Voice of the Brand

Register for the Strategic Internal Branding Conference. Together we’ll learn about using authentic internal branding communications to create brand champions, build culture and engage employees to live and deliver on the brand promise.

Since I’m a conference supporter, just mention Starry Blue Brilliance when you register to receive a $200 discount. 🙂

Please share this information with your networks. The Twitter hashtag is #ALI_IntBranding.


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Brilliance@Work: Internal Communication Consultant and Author Paul Barton, ABC

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Welcome to Brilliance@Work, a series of profiles about stellar collaboration professionals and their best practices at work.

Paul Barton, ABC

Paul Barton, ABC

Paul Barton, ABC is Principal Consultant, Paul Barton Communications LLC. He’s been passionate about connecting the minds of organizational leaders with the hearts of employees for more than 20 years.

After a successful career at six fast-growing brands including PetSmart and Hawaiian Airlines, Paul authored a book entitled Maximizing Internal Communication: Strategies to Turn Heads, Win Hearts, Engage Employees and Get Resultsand he launched his own consulting firm.

He’s a frequent speaker and workshop presenter on the topics of crisis communication, internal communication, and HR communication strategies. Paul also teaches courses in public speaking and business communication as an adjunct faculty member.

Paul is a long-time member of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and has earned the association’s Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) designation.

Join Paul at the Advanced Learning Institute’s Strategic Internal Branding Conference, April 19-21 in Scottsdale, Arizona as he presents “Finding the Voice of Your Organization’s Brand.”

In the meantime, read on to learn more about Paul and his insights on winning the hearts of employees to enhance engagement and drive desired brand behavior.

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: What are you most interested in and speak most enthusiastically about?
Paul Barton, ABC: I believe employee communication is at the heart of every successful thing an organization does. That’s where my heart has always been. Whether it’s implementing a change initiative to increase customer satisfaction or productivity, recovering from a crisis, or working safer and more efficiently, it takes effective communication to make it all happen.

PLB: What are some of your past and current projects that you are most proud of?
PB: I’m most proud of projects that really move the needle for organizations and at the same time help to better the lives of employees – the well-being, 401(k) and safety campaigns, and the customer service and productivity initiatives. I’m also proud of helping struggling internal communication programs turn things around to be valued by their leaders and internal clients, and become a positive force for change within their organizations.

PLB: How does brand voice affect employee engagement?
PB: Credibility is the foundation of effective communication of all types, and that most certainly includes internal communication. We need to speak to employees in an authentic voice and treat them like valued business partners if we are to be successful. And we need to speak to employees in a tone that reflects the brand behavior we want them to live in their day-to-day interactions with customers. The objective third-party tone devoid of personality that we learned in journalism class to write newspaper articles doesn’t work to inspire Digital Age employees. Organizations have personalities, and personalities have voices.

PLB: What will people gain from attending the Strategic Internal Branding Conference?
PB: This topic is very much needed. People are looking for authentic brands that do the right thing and do right by their employees. If an organization focuses exclusively on external branding and neglects its internal audience, then day-to-day customer experiences won’t match the organization’s brand promise. When an organization’s “do” is misaligned with its “say,” brand promises become nothing more than discredited advertising slogans. Authentic brands are built from the inside out when employees consistently deliver the brand promise.

PLB: What is most important for people to understand from your conference presentation?
PB:
 Finding the most effective tone for your internal communication is crucial to driving brand behavior and employee engagement within your organization.

PLB: What is your contact information for questions, comments, ideas?
PB: My Twitter handle is @PaulBartonABC and my email is PaulBarton@Outlook.com. I look forward to talking internal comms with you!

Register for the Strategic Internal Branding Conference. Together we’ll learn about using authentic internal branding communications to create brand champions, build culture and engage employees to live and deliver on the brand promise.

Since I’m a conference supporter, just mention Starry Blue Brilliance when you register to receive a $200 discount. 🙂

Please share this information with your networks. The Twitter hashtag is #ALI_IntBranding.

 


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What Does Your Internal Brand Achieve?

Man on the Moon

Photo: Finda Photo

Many organizations don’t realize what they can achieve through their own employee advocates. They are missing out on increased brand awareness and employee and customer satisfaction.

In “How to Turn Your Employees into Your Biggest Advocates,” Amanda Grinavich states that “employees’ passion about where they work and what they do is contagious – it makes others curious as to what’s so great about the place.”

In my profile of Mark Schumann, ABC, IABC Fellow, he explained that “an internal or employer brand means much more than how to recruit people to join an organization; its real value is how, once inside, employees commit to deliver what customers on the outside expect.”

Learn how to create a successful internal brand as Mark Schumann presents “Redefine Your Employer Brand and Deliver Your Brand Promise Authentically for Today’s Workforce” at the Strategic Internal Branding Conference, April 19-21 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Through hands-on exercises, you’ll learn best practices to:

  • Re-define your employer brand
  • Respond to changes in the employment marketplace
  • Refresh what your employer brand must achieve
  • Refocus how leadership inspires employees to deliver what your organization (and your brand) promises to customers

So you can successfully:

  • Define how employees must deliver what the brand promises to the company’s consumers
  • Secure real-time qualitative insight into how the employer brand can symbolize what it takes for an employee to “own” this connection with customers
  • Engage and influence how the organization’s senior leadership live the employer brand and what that means to employees, customers and other stakeholders

Register for the Strategic Internal Branding Conference. Together we’ll learn about using authentic internal branding communications to create brand champions, build culture and engage employees to live and deliver on the brand promise.

Since I’m a conference supporter, just mention Starry Blue Brilliance when you register to receive a $200 discount. 🙂

Please share this information with your networks. The Twitter hashtag is #ALI_IntBranding.


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Brilliance@Work: Communication Coach and Consultant Mark Schumann, ABC, IABC Fellow

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Photo: James Lee, Chester, NH, USA

Mark Schumann, ABC, IABC Fellow

Mark Schumann, ABC, IABC Fellow

Welcome to Brilliance@Work, a series of profiles about stellar collaboration professionals and their best practices at work.

Mark Schumann, ABC, IABC Fellow, is Founder and Principal of e-communicate, where he works with organizations – and their senior leaders, HR and Communication staffs – to re-invent how to inspire employees to deliver brand promises to customers.

Formerly with Towers Perrin, Mark served as the firm’s leader of the global communication consulting business as well as the Managing Principal of its offices in Texas. Over the years, Mark has developed employer brands for such organizations as ExxonMobil, DIRECTV, American Express, Cathay Pacific, Kimberly-Clark, McGraw- Hill, Halliburton and Yahoo.

Mark is the winner of 17 Gold Quill Awards from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and is a Professor of Communication at Fairfield University.

Join Mark at the Advanced Learning Institute’s Strategic Internal Branding Conference, April 19-21 in Scottsdale, Arizona as he presents “Redefine Your Employer Brand and Deliver Your Brand Promise Authentically for Today’s Workforce.”

In the meantime, read on to learn more about Mark and his insights on the evolution of the internal brand.

Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: What are you most interested in and speak most enthusiastically about?
Mark Schumann, ABC: For more than 25 years – since the early years of Southwest Airlines – I have worked with organizations to develop and sustain their “brands” as places to work to inspire employees to deliver their “brands” as places to buy. This reaches the core of who the organization is, what the organization considers essential, and how leaders connect with employees so they, in turn, positively answer, “what’s in it for me” to deliver what is promised to customers. And the work is just as critical today as when this movement began.

PB: What are some of your past and current projects that you are most proud of?
MS: Certainly I think back to the early years at Southwest Airlines when I had the chance to work with Libby Sartain, one of the great minds in HR, to develop this idea that we now call an internal brand or an employer brand. And, about 10 years ago, Libby and I began to document our work in a couple of books, Brand from the Inside and Brand for Talent that define what an employer brand can be, what it requires and what it can do for an organization and its people. Since then, as the concept of employer brand has matured, I have relished the chance to work with organizations interested in using this brand to connect leaders with internal and external stakeholders.

PB: What is most important for employees to understand about delivering the brand promise?
MS: That it all begins with the customer, and what the organization promises to the customer. This defines what employees must deliver every day. And the smart organization will align the experience, opportunity and rewards it offers employees with the experience, opportunity and results it offers customers. An internal or employer brand means much more than how to recruit people to join an organization; its real value is how, once inside, employees commit to deliver what customers on the outside expect.

PB: What will people gain from attending the Strategic Internal Branding Conference?
MS: I can’t wait for the conference. When you look at the range of topics and speakers – in the workshops and sessions – this event will be an excellent way to access the latest thinking on internal brand from a strong collection of experts.

PB: What is your contact information for questions, comments, ideas?
MS: Please write! My email is mark@dmarkschumann.com. Thanks!

Register for the Strategic Internal Branding Conference. Together we’ll learn about using authentic internal branding communications to create brand champions, build culture and engage employees to live and deliver on the brand promise.

Since I’m a conference supporter, just mention Starry Blue Brilliance when you register to receive a $200 discount. 🙂

Please share this information with your networks. The Twitter hashtag is #ALI_IntBranding.


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Use Video to Engage and Educate Employees on Your Brand

Photo: Free Image Bank

“Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business.” – Steve Forbes, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, Forbes Media

In my profile of Joe Pantigoso, Senior Director, Global Brand, SAP, he explained that “if everyone knows the ‘what’ we do every day (our mission) and are inspired by the ‘why’ we do it (our vision), every action by every employee can align and drive to that goal.”

To attract and engage employees, SAP created weekly 60-second videos called “Brand Tips in a Minute.” These videos help employees understand and apply the brand while showing them how to build a stronger, consistent brand.

Learn more about the power of branding as Joe Pantigoso presents “Using Videos and Education to Increase Employee Brand Engagement and Build a Strong, Consistent Brand” at the Strategic Internal Branding Conference, April 19-21 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

During this session, you’ll learn how to use video and other creative practices to exceed employee brand engagement goals, and how to:

  • Attract and inspire employees to create consistent, customer-centric, branded experiences
  • Measure engagement data to continually improve
  • Increase your brand champions across the enterprise
  • Remain consistent

Register for the Strategic Internal Branding Conference. Together we’ll learn about using authentic internal branding communications to create brand champions, build culture and engage employees to live and deliver on the brand promise.

Since I’m a conference supporter, just mention Starry Blue Brilliance when you register to receive a $200 discount. 🙂

Please share this information with your networks. The Twitter hashtag is #ALI_IntBranding.