Chris Brogan had an interesting post the other day about how a health insurance company (Humana in Louisville, Kentucky) is taking steps to make its employees more health conscious – an effort to ‘walk the walk.’ Integrating things like pedometers which are tied to a digital fish bowl, and bike sharing programs are things that I’m sure go a long way towards improving employee satisfaction but are also just pretty cool… Its a great example of being able to make what I would not think of as an exciting industry – lots of fun.
And I hate to bring it all back to business and marketing – but it gives them a story to tell – a fun, engaging story that separates them from competition. That’s not only good for job satisfaction, but I’m sure it is a hell of a great tool for reaching potential clients. How many people talk about how great their insurance co is? I don’t. But if they gave me a story to tell (and provided kick ass service) it would be easy to become a brand evangelist.
That’s the point I want to make here. I’m not saying that your company needs to have a ‘schtick’ – but to have something besides your product or service that customers can latch on to will enable customers to turn in to brand evangelists. Let’s face it – people love to talk about ‘why’ they make that kind of purchasing decision. It’s like they need to defend it.
So first – make sure your product or service is kick-ass. Once you feel like you’re getting there, give your employees and customers something to talk about , whether its how your employees focus on wellness (as in Humana’s case) or how your company helps build schools in Africa. Do something that’s good. Do something that’s cool – and your business will be better off.