Insight article

Building loyalty from scratch

I read with interest a recent blog by one of our Canadian partners, Nicky Fried (Strategic Connections), on the loyalty and respect given by immigrant workers. It reminded me of a client’s comment last week on their own issues regarding immigrant workers, and how often their lack of brand awareness can pose a concern of its own.

The client in question is a huge high street retail brand in the UK. I was visiting a their national distribution centre last week (and very impressive it was too), and the subject of their Eastern European colleagues was raised. Despite the gravitas and success of this brand in the UK, most Eastern European workers, whilst extremely hard workers, come with virtually no recognition or pride in the organisation; simply because they are unfamiliar with the brand. Building engagement, loyalty and pride amongst this community therefore depends entirely on their experience in the workplace – certainly until they are fully integrated into the UK way of life, with its associated culture and brands – over time.

This concern demonstrated to me not only the need to communicate the organisation’s journey in a simple and clear way that involves the entire workforce, but the acknowledgement that pride in a brand and a degree of loyalty and engagement exists even before an employee starts to work with that particular organisation – through sheer familiarity and brand recognition. This brand recognition is also a key factor in attracting and retaining talent, so maximising performance and engagement in the business must be a clear priority if it is to achieve loyalty and recognition, both internally and externally.

Nailia Tasseel