Ah, casual Friday. Of course, I can't say that casual Friday is unique to the corporate world. While I have already experienced several corporate perks on a very tiny, intern-sized level this summer (see previous posts), I must admit that I also have the opportunity to wear jeans on Fridays as a teacher. So there's one shared perk.
The Living Brand
Have you noticed that, in general, customer service stinks? Who out there is administering surveys to determine public sentiment about customer service nation wide? More and more, it seems that the people who, of their own volition, chose a specific place to actively seek employment, endured days/weeks of training, shook their head yes and smiled about all of the job duties that were described to them, and then, intentionally donned some of the most ridiculous uniforms I have ever seen, have an air of indignation when they are asked to actually perform the duties of their chosen job. There are, however, a few diamonds in the rough. In May of 2005, Harvard Business Review published an article by Bendapudi and Bendapudi in which they defined "The Living Brand." In a nutshell, the two describe a "bond between employees and the brand" found at certain companies-Quiktrip and Wawa, two convenience stores, to be specific-and this bond is so consistent and so unique, it becomes as tangible as physical aspects of product branding (125). In a sense, the employees themselves become the company's brand. I believe this is essential in the service industry. There is so much bad service out there, the few companies who do brand their service employees will stick out (in a good way).
More of this throughout the summer.