Amazon Chairman Jeff Bezos has famously said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
If you take this to heart, you need to understand all the people who talk about you when you’re not in the room.
Sure, your customers talk. You're paying a lot of attention to them. Employees talk. I hope you're listening. One critical audience often overlooked is your suppliers.
Suppliers know more scoop than many of the famous celebrity gossip columnists. They can make or break your brand with their talk to a multitude of listeners.
They're often more than happy to share what they know—and it's likely to be more than you may realize:
- Who’s slow pay?
- Who’s upset and jealous about the competition winning a new award?
- Who is firing employees faster than a politician?
- Who just won a big account?
- Who's launching something new?
Suppliers know all this and more. It's easy for them to spread the word as they move from one office to the next.
Not only are they delivering water—they’re also delivering news.
Pay attention to your interactions with suppliers at all levels.
- What are you saying in front of them?
- How are your employees interacting with them?
- Are you respectful or dismissing?
- Do you pay fairly and on time?
Manage your verbal and nonverbal brand communications.
I see it every day because I’m both a supplier and a purchaser. If you’re in business, so are you. Take a few moments to think about how you’re treated—and how you treat others. Make sure those intentions and actions align with your brand.
For help assessing your internal brand with a touchpoint analysis, calll Martha Bartlett Piland at 785.969.6203