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Sign up now for full access to Local Business Deeds, Bankruptcies, New Incorporated and Local Stock Activity from the Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal. (read more)

20 Under 40: JenniferDessoye

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Dr. Jennifer Dessoye is assistant professor of occupational therapy at Misericordia University and owner of Bright Beginnings Early Learning Academy (BBELA). Discontent with the early education curriculum and understanding of human development and neurolo (read more)

20 Under 40: Amy Hlavaty Belcher

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Amy Hlavaty Belcher, 39, owner and artistic director of Abrabesque Academy of Dancing, believes that for those who have been given much, much is expected. “I just try hard to do my best,” she said. I have been blessed with many opportunities and many gift (read more)

20 Under 40: Christopher Hetro

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Chris Hetro, 33, works hard and plays hard. “A strong work ethic is important, but finding balance outside of work is important because life is too short and you need to enjoy it,” he explained. As an electrical engineer and project manager at Borton-Laws (read more)

20 Under 40: C. David Pedri

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For attorney C. David Pedri, 37, it’s all about a combination of qualities that contribute to success. “My philosophy is simple: be open and honest, treat people the way you would want to be treated, with respect, and work hard to attain your dreams. The (read more)

20 Under 40: Ed Frable

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Ed Frable, 28, believes “if I work hard and stick to my word, good things will happen. My crew will not be deterred. We will re-evaluate our game plan and not give up until the job is complete,” explained Frable, the owner/operator of Ed Frable Constructi (read more)

20 Under 40: William H. Bender II

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William H. Bender II, CFP, CIMA, CRPC, loves what he does. “I’m lucky. I come to work every day excited to help the people and institutions we work with,” explained Bender, 34, first vice president at Bender Wealth Management Group, Merrill Lynch. The fam (read more)

20 Under 40: Angelo Venditti

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Angelo Venditti, 38, heard a call to the helping professions early on. Geisinger Northeast’s chief nursing officer answer was to volunteer for his local fire company. After high school, he became a paramedic, then enrolled in nursing school. Three years a (read more)

20 Under 40: Donald Mammano

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At 20, Donald Mammano began his own company, while attending the University of Scranton. Mammano, now 33, and president of DFM Properties, recalls, as a youngster, holding a flashlight while his father fixed the kitchen sink. “From that point on I was fas (read more)

20 Under 40: William J. Fennie III

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William J. Fennie III, 27, is always knocking on the proverbial door, because he knows one day, one will open. As an investment specialist with Integrated Capital Management (iCM) he cannot take “no” for an answer. “I make cold calls every day to invite f (read more)

20 Under 40: Marcus Magyar

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As an advisor at CAPTRUST Financial Advisors, Marcus N. Magyar, CFP, 30, provides comprehensive wealth management and investment portfolio services to business owners, executives, families and high-net worth individuals. His multi-disciplinary team of pro (read more)

20 Under 40: Heather Davis

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Heather M. Davis, 33, director of marketing and communication, is responsible for creating, overseeing and implementing a strategic marketing and comprehensive communications plan for The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC). She is also responsible for pr (read more)

20 Under 40: Alexandria Duffney

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Alexandria Duffney, 30, is competitive by nature and loves a good challenge. These qualities have led her to her position as associate director of graduate admission at Wilkes University. Here she works with prospective students interested in enrolling in (read more)

20 Under 40: John Culkin

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John Culkin’s tenets inform: “Less haste equal more speed; the same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg, it is all about what you are made of, not the circumstances surrounding you; and don’t ask someone to walk a mile in your shoes, bef (read more)

20 Under 40: Conor O'Brien

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“What could be worse than getting to the end of your life and realizing you hadn’t lived it,” mused Conor O’Brien.” As co-founder and executive director of the Scranton Fringe Festival, O’Brien, 25, is responsible for leading the development of the overal (read more)

20 Under 40: Jessica Siegfried

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Jessica Siegfried, 38, is senior designer with BlackOut Design Inc., where she is responsible for all creative design at the full-service agency, from traditional branding and print to collateral and front end web design. “I’ve always had an interest in t (read more)

20 Under 40: David Johns

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David Johns’ career path has been shaped by his diverse experiences. As director of structural engineering at Greenman-Pedersen Inc., Moosic, Johns, 39, ensures that his engineering and consultant teams provide clients with their best effort. “We complete (read more)

20 Under 40: Robyn Jones

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Robyn Jones, 38, president of ReferLocal LLC, has learned just as many lessons from her business successes as she’s had from her failures — and she believes it’s important to share that knowledge with her employees. After graduating from American Universi (read more)

20 Under 40: Nisha Arora

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Nisha Arora, 36, tries to be the best version of herself every day. As general counsel for ERA One Source Realty Inc., she realized she cannot control other’s behavior so “I try to focus on myself and how I can be better,” she explained. Arora’s responsib (read more)

20 Under 40: Justin Sandy

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Starting at a young age in Hazleton, Justin C. Sandy, 33, found a passion for running. He became a member then a coach for Misericordia University’s cross country and track and field programs. “It was at Misericordia that I also garnered the profound sati (read more)

20 Under 40: Dr. Ariane Conaboy

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As a doctor of internal medicine at Physicians Health Alliance, Dr. Ariane M. Conaboy, 34, realizes the importance of human life and how fragile it can be at times. Conaboy graduated from Scranton Prep and the University of Scranton with a double major in (read more)

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Jobless rate continues upward creep

The number of jobless people in the metro area continued its upward creep in May, according to state numbers out Tuesday. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metro area’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate grew by one-tenth of a percentage point to 5.9 percent, (read more)

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Taylor

By Dave Taylor

We expect the leadership of a company to be passionate about its brand. That’s their job, after all — build the brand.

But one of my favorite sayings is, “Leaders need followers.” And that’s the real question—does a company have a strong brand culture that employees want to join? Or is it just a job to them? Do they feel that working for a particular brand is special, or could they simply go across the street and do exactly what they are doing over there without missing a beat?

Here are some signs of a strong brand culture that can mean greater success at growing and maintaining a brand:

• High-level brand awareness among

all employees.

In a strong brand culture, every employee understands the brand. They can explain it in a few words. This often starts with a thorough brand orientation when they are hired. New workers are expected to learn about the history of the company and basics of the brand. In strong cultures, it’s self-perpetuating. This is not to be confused with the general concept of team building that is often a part of employee training. And a strong brand culture can increase the sense of team unity, as well.

• Employees are avid ambassadors for

the brand.

I don’t just mean the sales force or the marketing team, I mean virtually all the employees. They love the brand and talking about it. Companies with a strong brand culture tend to organically create people who can articulate their brand in glowing terms. For firms that depend on networking and referrals to generate new customers, having many brand ambassadors can be a boost.

• People want to work there.

Whether or not a company competes for workplace awards, there is often a strong correlation between those that focus on their employees and those that pay attention to the brand and what it stands for.

This applies particularly to companies that have a major service component to their business. The quality of that service is usually critical to competing. Making it different from and better than the competition often comes from an internal brand culture that is committed to getting everyone on the same page.

• It’s self-correcting.

Strong internal brand cultures are good at staying the course. They reward thinking that supports the brand strategy and correct (or reject) thinking that gets off track.

Ideas and actions have to pass the important question of “Is it on brand?” If the answer is no, a new or revised solution or behavior has to take its place.

• A proactive alumni program.

Companies usually understand that most employees will probably end up working somewhere else as their careers progress. But those with a long-term vision for their brand often see ex-employees as an opportunity. It becomes part of their brand culture to create an alumni program that supports former employees and gives them value in exchange for the expectation that they will be ongoing ambassadors. Of course, not everyone will leave on good terms, but ex-employees can become great referral sources and sometimes even clients. A strong brand culture recognizes this and invests in it for the long run.

Dave Taylor is president of Taylor Brand Group, a company that focuses on developing brand strategy and ongoing brand marketing. Based in Lancaster, Taylor Brand Group works with national and regional clients. He can be reached at 717-393-7343. Visit taylor brand group.com.

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