If the cake is bad, what good is the frosting?

At the end of a meal, I received a fortune cookie with a message that read “If the cake is bad, what good is the frosting?” After reading this fortune, I realized that I had discovered a phrase that summed up my entire brand development philosophy.

All too often, small businesses approach brand development by just worrying about the frosting. They spend all their efforts focused only on what people see on the outside (logos, marketing messages, product and service positioning, etc.) Small businesses have trouble realizing that if they don’t have the proper internal brand culture, customers may be wowed at first, only to be disappointed by the bad taste that is left when employees deliver a less than promised brand experience.

In order to develop a strong external brand, small businesses must first develop a strong internal brand. By utilizing organizational development strategies alongside brand development tactics, small businesses can create a brand culture which consistently delivers extraordinary brand experiences.  The result is a brand which inspires passion and recruits both internal and external advocates.

Small businesses with strong internal brand cultures see increased revenue per employee and, therefore, greater profitability due to:

  •           Higher employee satisfaction
  •           Employee innovation
  •           Higher level of productivity
  •           Lower employee turnover
  •           Improved safety records

Because of the internal brand culture, each employee feels a connection to the organization. They become internal brand advocates who believe in the company and want to see it succeed. These advocates work to constantly improve and enrich the brand while they spread their passion to others both inside and outside the organization.

Strong internal brand cultures also lead to increased revenue per customer. This is due to the extraordinary external brand experiences that employees create which result in:

  •           Stronger customer relationships
  •           Higher customer satisfaction ratings
  •           Increased customer retention
  •           Larger number of customer referrals
  •           Better reputation in the marketplace

Small businesses that continually devote the necessary organizational development resources consistently build and maintain strong brands. By focusing on the cake as well as the frosting, companies are able to ultimately achieve brand success by building internal advocacy.

Instead of focusing on just external branding efforts, a combination of brand development plus organizational development is the proper recipe for creating an extraordinary brand.

Leave a comment

Avatar About the Author:

previous arrow
next arrow