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What Happens on the Inside is Seen on the Outside
By: Janet Kalandranis
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This is nothing new, but the topic is worth repeating time and time again. Any brand that wants to be successful today and for years to come must, must, MUST create a culture internally that they want reflected externally. Simply creating a great idea and brand image that is customer-facing and ignoring the internal culture will only prove to be detrimental. Maybe not at first; maybe initially there'll be some bright spots, but this won’t last long. In order to deliver a brand promise to customers consistently, the internal structure and culture needs to be there to support this task. It seems obvious and something every brand would start with, but that’s not always the case. Many brands are so focused on how to deliver success to the customer that they forget to take a step back and analyze the internal aspect of the organization. So it’s time for a reminder; one that focuses on success, but starts within the organization instead of outside.

It’s always good to look at an example to put it all in perspective. This past week Cosi’s CEO admitted that the reason the brand is not successful is because of its internal strategy. Time and time again customers comment that they love the food and the concept but they are continuously disappointed by the service. And no, it’s not the employees that are to blame, but instead the team that runs the brand for not providing an internal structure that is specific to delivering success. Cosi can’t expect to succeed if the brand doesn’t create training, processes, and an expectation of nothing but superior customer service. And it can’t be all about the customer, but must also address what employees want and need. This comes in the form of benefits, recognition, and empowerment. A combination of these can help Cosi create an internal structure that is positive and ultimately is reflected in each and every store.

It’s not beneficial for brands to separate out the two strategies — internal and external. At the end of the day, these two are connected and create success or failure together. If a brand has to prioritize, unfortunately they need to work on both of these as one initiative in order for customers to see the benefit. Changing only one part of the equation won’t give the brand a quick win, but instead will prove to be detrimental to the success of the brand.


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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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