Previously, we talked about how to identify your stakeholders and how to prioritize them. Today, I will give you some insights on the common characteristics of your key stakeholders. As you may recall, we use two criteria in assessing the importance of a stakeholder: its power and its level of interest. Let’s analyze some of your stakeholders and see what they want and what they can do.
Customers: They are interested in reliable products and service. They are usually price conscious. Also, they want to be heard. Their power is obvious: your revenue is derived from them. Therefore, your brand should be built to keep them happy.
Employees: Of course job security is important. However, your employees want more. They desire to have shared, meaningful goals and a trustworthy management. These two translate into job satisfaction. Their power cannot be ignored: They deliver your brand promise every day. If they are not motivated, they will create a mediocre brand experience for your customers.
Senior management: They run your company and their interest is to keep investors satisfied. They are the ones who initiate the branding project. If you can turn them into brand champions, your job gets much easier.
Shareholders: They are interested in ROI. Unless there is a majority shareholder, shareholders usually don’t get involved in branding projects. However do not ignore their power on senior management. They have to understand that a strong brand is good for the business.
Community: Your brand is expected to create jobs and economic activity. Do not underestimate the importance of the environment and giving back to community. Even though their impact is indirect, you don’t want to piss off your local community. Always consult opinion leaders to be perceived as a good corporate citizen.
Why don’t you give me your thoughts on the importance of your partners, vendors and the government?
Today’s actionable tip: Many branding projects treat employees as an afterthought. This is a major mistake. Engage your employees in the meaning of your brand.