Have you ever wondered what role your employees play in your brand’s success? We have the answer: A Whole Lot. Every Successful Brand Starts With Motivated And Inspired Employees.
No other recent brand success embodies this philosophy more than Delta Air Lines. On January 21, Delta reported annual 2013 profits of $2.7 billion – a profit stated after each of its 80,000 employees receives a profit sharing check of approximately 8% of their yearly salary on Valentine’s Day.
Two days after announcing the profit, Air Transport World named Delta its ATW 2014 Global Airline of the Year – the first time the honor has gone to a U.S. carrier in over a decade. ATW cited several categories: innovation and leadership by executive management; strong financial discipline; a consistent and excellent safety record; proven leadership in community, environmental and technological endeavors; consistent high standards of customer service; and excellent employee relations.
It was no easy journey for Delta after its merger with Northwest. In early 2011, cultures were still clashing, customer satisfaction metrics had plummeted, key facilities were tattered, and service fragmented. So Delta’s current C.E.O, Richard Anderson, decided it was time to revisit to the core brand values Delta’s founder C.E. Woolman introduced in 1928 during the airline’s infancy. Today – with over $4 billion having been invested in technology improvements, facility rebuilding, and customer service training for all its client-facing staff – the results are stellar. And, it all starts with core values and delivery of them by every employee – in every department – on every continent.
At the ATW Awards Ceremony, Anderson acknowledged his employees by saying: “Our values and culture are the foundation for our success. The professionalism and commitment of Delta people to our company, to one another and to our customers is unmatched.” Anderson is frequently seen prior to the onboard safety video talking about Delta’s values and its employees having the customer’s back.
Anderson makes a very strong case for development of a strong brand culture, defined and introduced through core values that drive the organization and lead to the delivery of a consistent brand experience for customers. Each Delta employee has a copy of ‘Rules of the Road’ – Delta’s Brand Handbook. It clearly articulates what is expected of every employee – from the CEO to under-the-wing employees.
“Strong core values and a clear set of unifying behaviors provide a solid foundation for Delta’s culture. Our values are the basis for everything we do. When Delta people encounter situations, they use their values and professionalism, along with training and experience to guide their actions and decisions.
“Each of us has the opportunity every day to be a leader in how we represent Delta, how we handle difficult and unpredictable situations, how we use Delta’s resources and how we take care of our customers, our shareholders and each other. So clearly, being a leader is not confined to those who hold a certain title.”
Delta’s core values are stated as:
- Always tell the truth – Honesty
- Always keep your deals – Integrity
- Don’t hurt anyone – Respect
- Try harder than all our competitors—never give up – Perseverance
- Care for our customers, our community and each other – Servant leadership ”
Can an internal branding program benefit your company? We offer an integrated research and strategy package including the following components.
- Employee market research
- Identification of core values and development of key messages
- Brand handbook development
- Internal messaging systems
- Internal guerilla tactics
- Creating an internal brand champion team
We would love speak with you about the current state of your brand, and discuss how we might assist in laying the foundation for a Delta success within your company. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org