“Your number one customers are your people. Look after your employees first and your customers will follow.”
So says Ian Hutchinson, author of “People Glue” and we could not agree with him more. Your employees are the embodiment of your brand and they can be a powerful driver for its growth. Take JetBlue for example – how can an airline with only 3% market share and a marketing budget that is merely 1/15 that of Southwest, come year after year as top of mind for so many travelers? The secret is in its people.
As a smaller player, JetBlue leans on its employees to be the face of the brand. That means they start by hiring those that already exhibit JetBlue’s “challenger mentality”. According to Marty St. George, senior VP-Commercial, “Orientation at JetBlue is brand orientation. I make sure our crew members know how important they are to the brand.” His first message at a recent session for 191 new hires: “Every one of you is a marketer.” That is a powerful signal! It says to new employees – I will give you to the tools needed and then I will empower and trust you to be my messenger.
You don’t have to be JetBlue or in the service sector to think in this way. Healthcare companies have a message to convey and they, especially those that are small and looking to compete with the big guys, can gain huge benefits by applying these principles:
Ian Hutchinson is correct – treat your people right because when they believe, your customers will too.