PM’s Kyle Richardson on the Power of the Brand

There’s a wealth of information on the correlation between employee engagement, job satisfaction and organizational success.  In fact, I serve as a board director at The Forum: Business Results Through People, an organizational trust for thought leadership advocating that the most effective way business leaders can create and sustain organizational value is through their partnership with people.  In short – People Centered Leadership

So, while we all know that employees can make or break the brand is it possible that the brand makes the employees?

Promo Marketing’s Kyle Richardson nails it again with this thoughtful column on the power of branding and the power of a corporate brand on employee satisfaction.


Enjoy the read. And thank you Kyle for letting me share your column.

I’m With The Brand

By Kyle Richardson | Posted on March 30, 2012
Everyone knows that a company’s employees make or break the brand, but can a company’s brand make its employees? If branding juggernaut Apple is any indication, the answer might be yes.

Employer reporting website Glassdoor announced its Top 25 Highest Rated CEOs list today, and who is sitting at the top spot? Newly minted Apple CEO Tim Cook, who has held the title for a mere seven months. In that time, Cook achieved an exemplary 97 percent approval rating by employees, coincidentally the same rating Steve Jobs had when he stepped down in August 2011. (Jobs held a 95 percent rating on the site’s 2011 list last March.)

Prior to Jobs’ resignation, investors and analysts were nervous about the company’s future. Since Cook took over, the iPhone 4S and the iPad 3 the New iPad the latest version of the iPad both had massively successful launches, but those were products in development before his reign. Not having the outsized personality of Jobs, it’s harder to know what Cook thinks or is doing within Cupertino’s walls. He could be doing a stellar job, impressing every single employee (or, at least 97 percent of them) with his insight and acumen. Or he could be the lucky victim of brand absorption, wherein he becomes a reflection of the goodwill attributed to the company.

Is that the case? I have no way of knowing. I’m just a guy with a keyboard and a deadline. Tim Cook could very well be the greatest CEO in the universe, and I have no doubt that he is an extremely intelligent and capable individual. I have no doubt of that because I know Apple only hires people of that caliber, and I know that because I, too, am imprinted by Apple’s branding. See how that works?

That there would be absolutely no change in rating after a headline-grabbing transition is unusual. Steve Ballmer didn’t get it that easy when he took over Microsoft, and U.S. president approval ratings are, well, yeah. So what is it? Honeymoon phase? Halo effect? Good old-fashioned skill? Who knows, but I’m willing to bet as long as Apple maintains its current image, Cook too will continue to look good.

It’s an interesting thought experiment at the very least. Have you seen other instances of company branding making (or breaking) its employees?

READ MORE by Kyle Richardson.

One response to “PM’s Kyle Richardson on the Power of the Brand

  1. This is going to be one of Jim Collins’s case studies. Was Jobs good or great? Will Apple continue to be “great” or just become “good”? So far Cook is reaping the benefits of a good run. I would like to see what is next for Apple before making judgement.

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