Archive for the ‘Manufacturing’ Category  

A Proven Method for Building a Continuous Improvement Culture

Toyota receives more than one million operational improvement ideas from its employees each year and implements 90 percent of them. There are two powerful messages in this short statement worth noting: 1) One million ideas submitted each year tells us that Toyota, a company revered for setting the standard in manufacturing, is always looking for…


 

What Glassdoor Tells Customers About Your Brand

At one of my recent brand strategy retreats, I asked everyone in the room to raise their hand if they were aware of glassdoor.com. Less than half put their hands in the air. For those of you who are unfamiliar, glassdoor.com is one of the fastest growing job and recruiting sites, and it includes a…


 

Are Unique Value Propositions Overrated?

For far too long, marketers in the manufacturing industry have been hung up on identifying their “unique” value propositions, believing that if they don’t own one, they wouldn’t be equipped to confront the competition head on and win new customers. Hold that thought. The urgency and anxiety over defining one’s Unique Value Proposition (UVP) has…


 

Brand: Don’t confuse corporate values with customer expectations

The process of defining one’s values has unquestionably become one of the hottest trends in corporate and employer branding. And when integrated into a well-functioning, healthy culture, the results can be extraordinary in many ways. Values help to differentiate the brand by telling customers and employees what the company stands for. They establish guardrails and…


 

6 Reasons Disengaged Employees Require Your Immediate Attention

According to a 2016 Gallup Poll, disengaged employees cost the U.S. approximately $500,000,000,000 (Yes, that’s billion). Some employees disengage for reasons that have nothing to do with their employer or work environment. Illness, injuries or major life events such as losing a loved one, going through a divorce or dealing with any kind of trauma…


 

Five Deadly Sins of Brand Complacency

Some of us are deceived to believe that many of the larger, well-known brands have everything figured out. Many of them do. But the others? Well, read on. Below are some higher-profile brands that were, at one time, leaders in their respective industries, and today are struggling to survive from a history of complacency. There…


 

Why Culture Integration is Essential During the Onboarding Process

It’s Dave’s first day. He’s finally here. The Account Manager’s position has been open for more than six months and by all indications, Dave is the answer to everyone’s prayers. There is a sigh of relief now that he’s on board – Dave has a proven track record of success, his people skills are sharp…


 

The perils of not paying attention to the brand as a company scales

All startups have a brand, and it’s always representative of the personal brand of the founder.  If the product or service offering is a success, the company begins to grow, sometimes at an uncomfortable pace – a pace perhaps too difficult to keep up with. The solution? Hire more employees, and fast. However, in the…


 

Culture Case Study: Handling a Compensation Confrontation

During one of my recent enculturation workshops, I was approached by the plant manager of a manufacturing firm who confided in me that he had an urgent need to fix a volatile workplace environment. He discovered that some of his employees, mostly of the Millennial generation, were openly sharing the details of their individual compensation…


 

A Manufacturer’s Antidote to Commoditization

Many manufacturers continually struggle with differentiating their products to avoid having them classified as commodities. The most common, yet historically ineffective strategy to evade commoditization’s black hole is to simply offer enhanced and/or additional product features. Although a short-term solution, it is an arduous strategy to sustain for obvious reasons – competitors will quickly copy…


 

If you wish to bond with your customers, have a story to tell about your brand.

Everyone loves a good story. And if you happen to be an entrepreneur, you most certainly have an inspiring one to tell. Stories bond people together. Stories build trust, add credibility, they all have a message and teach us lessons. When you go to a party or an event, the person with the largest draw…


 

When should you update your brand logo?

Let’s begin by getting the obvious out of the way – for any logo designed in WordPerfect or purchased online at a bargain, it should probably be updated. Contrary to what some believe, the many components of a logo, such as color(s), font, shape and design/image play a vital role in evoking emotions buried deep…


 

A Strong Culture Requires Strong Leadership

Team your best salesperson with a crummy manager and what do you get? A resignation letter and loads of business going to your competitor. Team a highly trained and skilled manager with a group of average-to-slightly above-average employees and you’ll soon have enthusiastic and highly motivated team-players willing to bleed for your company. In no…


 

FACT: Culture has NOTHING to do with touchy-feely stuff

Mention the word “culture” to someone, and it may spark a conversation around employer branding, hiring emotionally intelligent managers, teamwork, and strategies behind building a place where people love to come to work every day. You know – all that “touchy-feely stuff” that people (especially those darn Millennials) expect from their employer that distract from…


 

Avoid This Deadly Mistake When Defining Your Brand

The executive team of a Wisconsin-based manufacturer was exhausted and frustrated from being in a perpetual state of rebranding. The company recently completed three acquisitions and needed to bring clarity to its global brand. Everyone on the team had strong, yet conflicting opinions about what the brand should be, and what kind of marketing messages…