Should brand loyalty extend beyond purchase behaviors ?

There’s an interesting article on the Harvard Business Review website on the changing expectations for employee brand loyalty,  beyond employees’ buying habits.

“… with employment opportunities tight and economic recovery slow, a profound organizational transformation is taking hold. “Loyalty to the brand” is mutating into “Living the brand.” Brand values — not just brand value — are seen as core competitive differentiators. As authenticity, accountability, and social responsibility are increasingly celebrated as essential enterprise virtues, firms will increasingly push their people to live, not just use, their brands. The lines between workplace and lifestyle further dissolve.”

It may be reasonable to expect Ford employees not park Hondas in the Ford plant parking lot. In the same fashion, a Weight Watchers counselor probably should not be overweight. But… Is it reasonable to require all Nike employees be fit and athletic? Or that Whole Foods employees resist eating Cheetos? Or that IKEA employees be models of sustainable living?

The HBR article concludes that, “there’s a growing belief that a company’s economic value increasingly reflects its organizational values,” and that “To the extent that particular meme goes viral and global, we’re going to see leaders and managers insist that their people live up to those values — inside the workplace and out.”

Stop and consider: Are you a reflection of your employer’s values? And if not, how many changes would you need to make to meet such an expectation?

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