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Employees are the brand

July 30, 2005

Retailers often have an uneasy relationship with marketing and advertising; they see it as a necessary evil that can drive people to their stores. They are often reluctant brand advertisers because they regard the store experience as the brand.

The UK Think Tank, Demos have a great exert from an interview they recently conducted with the head of sandwich chain Pret a Manger. The interview highlights the crucial role staff play in the Pret organization and how they invest in this essential resource.

Some highlights:

1. Pret spends nothing on traditional marketing or advertising

2. New hires work for a day in a store. If at the end of the day, 90%+ of the other employees say that individual should be hired, they are hired

3. Pret does lots of mystery shopping to gather soft and hard research data

4. When someone gets promoted and is given a raise, they are also given additional funds to share with the people that that individual believes helped get them there

With declining levels of customer service across all categories, there are real opportunities for brands to seize the initiative and put a stake in the ground for service excellence.

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