This brand brought to you by...people
Maybe now's a good time to relook the questions of 'what is a brand?' and 'who makes up a brand?'
As businesses increasingly struggle with messy 'people issues' (hybrid-working models, the Great Resignation, Quite Quitting etc. etc.) - some brands are instead boldly differentiating themselves thanks to their people.
While some CEOs are choosing to wield the axe and are publicly threatening their employees - others are going all-in on showcasing theirs.
Netflix is rumoured to be a tough place to work, but the company also celebrates their staff in a podcast series called WeAreNetflix.
WeAreNetflix is a behind-the-curtain look at the people who work so hard to build the brand - their motivations, their stories, their insights.
Nike know that knowledgable in-store staff are critical to creating a memorable and compelling physical shopping experience for their customers, so in a recent ad campaign, Ask our athletes, they chose to showcase the sporting talents of their own people.
Of course, Patagonia have for some time been the pioneers this kind of transparent, people-first thinking.
Why now? It feels like perhaps in all of the recent focus on these 'messy people issues', a lot of business leaders may have missed the point as to why all of this post-covid disruption might be happening and are selecting poorly thought-out responses that will inevitably backfire on them.
This may then be a good time to relook the questions of 'what is a brand?' and 'who makes up a brand?' - and to be far more honest about where real value is created and think long-term about what kind of company you are trying to build.