Who do you trust with your brand reputation? Marketing or HR?

If you don’t want your brand to appear on social media alongside hashtags such as:

#ihate______, #______alwayslie, #dontbuy______, #nevertrust______

and other more profane hashtags then we would argue that you should not trust either Marketing or HR but rather insist that both work together.

If your people don’t get, or even worse don’t know, what your Marketing team is promising your brand will deliver to your customers, how can they be expected to deliver on it?

If your people are not engaged and hate their work your marketing team are going to get found out for promising the earth and then woefully failing to deliver.

Organisations who get this are starting to break down the siloes that have existed between Marketing and HR to make sure that what is promised externally, is matched by internal ability and brand culture. Please note that this does not mean the two are doing the same work. Aligning means making sure HR and Marketing talk to each other and perhaps, heaven forbid, learn from one another?

The best organisations are already going further and aligning the whole company with what their brand stands for. Patagonia, Red Bull, Valve and Vend are all organisations that are worth looking at. I would also recommend that if you get a chance go to Gothenburg and meet the people at SKF, (a company that makes ball bearings better than anyone else can) it is worth the trip. They all share a sense of purpose, pride and alignment. It is what makes them standout, and is the reason that they continue to succeed.

These companies and others like them make sure that what is promised to customers is mirrored internally by the way HR: attract talent, how they develop leaders and how they set a sense of direction for performance, and most importantly how colleagues treat each other regardless of positional hierarchy.

For too long HR has been striving for a seat at the table rather than

 being excited about making the table,

 and for Marketing it isn’t all about external messaging but

helping your people deliver the promise.

If we align both Marketing and HR functions to deliver the brand promise, the winners will be employees and customers.

NKD Living Brands model

If this makes you purr then we should talk.

Will Sargent