Category Archives: HR Heads

Taking Advantage of Your Positive Brand Equity

By: GotCredit

At first glance you might feel like brand equity is a complicated concept and a little bit hard to wrap your mind around and understand, but in reality the term is actually fairly simple and you won’t have to fear it once you really dig in and tackle it. This is a term that is common in advertising and marketing circles, but simply put it refers to the inherent value that comes from having a well-known and widely recognized brand name. This is based around the strongly supported belief that people are more likely to buy from someone will a famous brand versus an unknown brand. The level of recognition and response your brand generates, that’s your brand equity.

There are many different things that can affect the consumer market’s loyalty to your brands, though just a few of the most common are:

Brand Loyalty

– Allows you to reduce marketing costs
– Attracting new customers via awareness
– Attracting new customers via social reassurance
– Gives you time to strategize and respond to any new competitive threats

Awareness of Your Brand

– A base to build off of
– Familiarity, which leads to loyalty and preference
– Visibility to get your brand’s image out there and in the discussion
– Signals your commitment to your customers’ needs

Brand Associations (this naturally will include quality perception)

– Help communicate information
– Claim your higher position in the marketplace
– Provides customers with a reason to buy
– Creates positive feelings and attitudes towards your brand
– Creates the perfect base for expansion and extension

How Can You Maximize Your Brand Quality?

Now that you see just how much brand quality can offer you and your products, the next obvious question that comes up is how you can actually maximize your brand quality so it’s working for you. There are a few things to consider when making a push to help out your brand quality.

Make Sure You Create Distinctive & Noticeable Assets

There’s no question that your best assets are your own products, and while you should take pride in what you produce you also need to be willing to step back and take an honest look to see whether or not what you’re offering is really “one of a kind” or if your product doesn’t really match the marketing hype that you put behind it. The honest truth is that with millions of different businesses out there, it’s hard to believe you’re the only one offering what you offer. For instance, HR Heads offer a breakfast forum every quarter which gives them the opportunity to meet peers, discuss issues etc. This makes a great impression on the public and potential clients.

That’s not a bad thing. While others are fighting the nearly hopeless battle to be completely unique, you can focus on what really matters, and that’s being distinctive so you stand out from a crowd. A lot of people make hamburgers, but you know that means McDonald’s. The five colored rings mean the Olympics. A good brand instantly sticks out. They don’t do something 100% unique but they know how to be distinctive! Keller made a brand equity pyramid to show us just how it should be laid out.

Being able to adapt and be distinctive means you won’t get into price wars because your brand equity will allow you to rely on loyal buyers for that steady stream of income. This gives you a huge advantage over your competitors and can even help you branch off into related areas with related products.

Don’t Be Afraid of Change

To many companies, change is something to be feared and that’s why so many companies have failed when one brand or competitor has forged ahead. If your brand equity is good you can afford to make some mistakes as long as they are mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth. In other words, moving forward will eventually give you something. Even bad products often make money and the company gets the feedback they need to change, adjust, and be all the stronger on top of the market. That’s the type of attitude you need to hit that rare home run in business that builds positive brand equity.

The Benefits Of Empowered Decision Making

By: U.S. Naval War College

In the 1980s movie “Top Gun,” starring Tom Cruise, the fighter pilot Maverick nearly derails his career when he makes instinctive decisions that go against the establish protocol.

Some people feel that this sort of decision making is irresponsible, while others feel that it is a sign of genius. Is it a good idea to stick to tried and true methods, or should the rules be broken? Many people find great, innovative solutions to various problems by throwing away the rulebook and trusting their own judgment and their own instincts. Listing your values to potential clients and more, like here, can also boost the power in your decisions.

There are many cases where people should feel more free to ignore the rules and just use their common sense. For example, if kids are playing sports on a hot summer day, they need to be allowed to go inside and drink water from the drinking fountain. Otherwise, they run the risk of getting heat stroke and becoming very ill. If a school forbade students from using the drinking fountains, this could cause all sorts of problems that could have been avoided with a little common sense.

Many businesses recruit leaders who have the experience and credibility that is needed to make tough choices, what makes a great leader can also be read here. They need to keep their eyes on the big picture and focus on what is best for the whole organization, not just for themselves or for a single department. High-level strategic thinking like this is what makes these leaders stand out from the crowd, and this skill cannot be neatly encapsulated in a set of written rules.

However, there are many smaller issues that also can benefit from some instinctual leadership in a lot of organizations. For example, many employees experience various difficult situations that can have a serious impact on their ability to do their jobs. For example, they could contract a serious illness, go through a divorce, or lose a loved one.

Just following the rules in such a situation is not always the best approach. Good leaders need to be flexible and rely on their own judgment so that they can find the best approach to each individual’s situation, rather than just blindly following the rules.

Of course, organizations of all sizes need to come up with policies to cover common situations, and in many cases, they are legally required to do so to protect themselves and their employees. However, focusing too much on the rules and not enough on the human element means that an organization can lose sight of what is really important in life.

Steve Jobs, for example, the late founder and CEO of Apple, once said that it is innovation that distinguishes between leaders and followers. Given how successful Jobs was in turning Apple into a corporate leader, it is a good idea to take his words to heart.

While Maverick was reckless and out of control, and probably should not be emulated by too many people, but there is still something admirable about his passion and use of his talent. Finding the right balance between empowered decision making and playing by the rules is key to your success.

Problems with Mobile Devices in the Workplace

Pretty soon, people will be leaving work to head off on their Easter vacations. Some employers might be relieved to know that there is electronic technology available that will enable them to maintain contact with their employees if necessary, however they also run the risk of encountering security breaches when transferring sensitive information. This security risk is always a concern; no matter if employees work from home or just need to take a day off.

Maintaining Communication

We live in a world that is running every hour of the day and our needs to maintain communication at various times reflect that reality. It is now common for people to read work-related emails while on vacation, edit their presentations while sitting in a cafe or talk to clients on Skype from their own living rooms. Employers love the convenience of having employees that are always accessible, but in the event that either party loses their electronic device, very important company information could end up in the wrong hands very easily.

Many companies operate using a BYOD policy. This acronym stands for Bring Your Own Devices and refers to the practice of employees using their personal electronic devices to conduct business-related tasks. Common BYOD devices include laptops, smart phones and tablet computers as well as the actual phone calls, emails and transfer of client information.

The Drawback of Using Mobile Electronics

Unfortunately, there are a few things that employers need to look out for in order to lower the risk of a security breach. Because employees are now easily connected, company data is at a very high risk of being lost, altered or placed in the wrong hands. As an employer, you should create a concise plan that has plainly defined rules to help prevent this.

Make Safety the Main Goal

Creating good BYOD guidelines should be the most important goal for your company. It needs to be flexible enough to also keep up with the fast-pace of modern technology. A lot of businesses will discover that their employees are already using their own devices in an unregulated and informal manner. Many of them check their work email from home or take files home so that they can work on them throughout the weekend. Many employers have no problem with this, but this practice creates a huge security risk for the company because most employees do not feel a responsibility to properly safeguard this data while they have it.

Increasing Employee Awareness

At the most basic level, employers and supervisors need to make employees aware of the danger of security risks. Making sure that they understand the need to keep track of their devices in order to protect the company’s information will make it more likely that they will be careful in the future.

The risks associated with BYOD are very real. In the past, employers have always controlled their company’s data. However, this becomes a much harder task when company information is transferred onto an employee’s tablet computer. Are employers allowed to then restrict where the employee can take their device? The normal response would be no, but you have to imagine whether your customers would agree to having their personal information in a bar or nightclub. In most cases, the answer to that question would be no as well.

Easy Answers

Employee awareness is extremely vital. Staff meetings, office guidelines and official rulebooks can be used to lay out how, where and when personal electronics can be used. For instance, you may choose to allow employees to access a company database from their smart phone, but prohibit them from saving the data to their device. These guidelines should be constantly stressed during normal office communications.

Reiterate how important it is that employees report any case of a stolen or lost device right away. Any employee who is fired or stops working at the company must be required to allow the employer to inspect their devices and erase company data.

Employer Benefits

BYOD is nothing that employers need to stress over. It adds more flexibility that most employees use to make their work more productive. As long as it is used responsibly, BYOD can be a great benefit for the employer as well.