I just came back from chairing the 5th annual Marketing Week Employee Brand Engagement Conference in London.
After two days and some good presentations and chats, here are what I feel are the ten or so themes/trends that emerged – in no particular order:
1. Everyone is responsible for the brand and owning it – not just marketing anymore.
2. Related to that, internal cooperation amongst functions etc. is now seen as madatory for success
3. Emotion is coming back (after a lot of $$$ and rational/logic approaches) into fashion. Heaven forbid we inspire anyone…
3. Simplicity is a real theme — instead of long-winded mission statements and complex message models, one liners and 5 word phrases devoid of corporate speak are gaining ground
4. Focussing on positive approaches/doing more of what works well — as organisations and individuals — rather than identifying problems and trying to solve them, or trying to fix shortcomings (as opposed to playing to strengths). I wonder if this is related to a growth economy where costs have been relentlessly squeezed out?
5. Handing the keys over to employees — that is, and we were saying it at The Empowerment Group (TEG) more than 5 years ago: people own what the help create. This once radical and progressive thinking is (finally) gaining ground.
6. Generation Y needs a lot more attention as an employment/employer brand segment … they are here, and we need to “get it” with them.
7. Just because the values on the wall are the same as next door, what’s important is the meaning and tone you can infuse in those values.
8. If those values are, in fact, on your wall, you probably have an engagement problem already.
9. Similarly, if there is a brand engagement problem, there is by default a much wider engagement issue.
10. If your senior management need too much convincing of the value of employee engagement … find a new group of senior managers to work for. The market’s buoyant, and life is short. (Thanks to Mark from VISA for that one!).
That’s about it.