Employee Benefit and Brand Loyalty

3 Ways to Cultivate Brand Loyalty with Employee Benefits

If Employees Do Not Believe, Will Your Customers?

As the Director of Communications for an industry-leading employee benefits consulting firm, I often find myself wearing many hats during the week.  I like it.  It’s what keeps me excited about my career.


We recently had a meeting with a health sector service provider as a potential client.  They are probably the last type of business I would expect to be very concerned about brand — our brand or theirs!


Since I have only been with The Benefit Company for about two years now, I have not taken the time to fully craft my personal introduction to clients in meetings.  Should I go with stats, industry jargon, the personal/folksy/Atlanta “Hey y’all”, or straight into my wheelhouse of the power of brand in employee engagement?


What does brand have to do with employee benefits and engagement?  Good question.  I had not really thought about this a lot myself.  Sure, we work on brand development as a company, but mainly for our own benefit in marketing and sales.


Like a good friend, you always know what to expect from a company with an established brand.


The meeting with the healthcare provider came about quickly and I had been busy generating visuals and sharpening our presentation.  We had an internal review of our presentation before the meeting and it looked like all systems were a “go”.


John Hearn, a TBC principal, asked us to be prepared to personally introduce ourselves to the prospect.  Two of the five attributes of the TBC brand are “Genuine” and “Engaged”.


A wave of panic rippled through my “one hour before the prospect arrives” brain.  What introduction about my skills of painting pretty pictures for complex benefits and insurance products would resonate with this prospect?


Back to my desk I went and put on my creative cap.  {Right over the top of my panic cap.}


I asked myself: What power does brand have in the world of employee benefits?


Employee Loyalty, Brand Loyalty…One in the Same.


Retention can be a problem in times of low unemployment. Brand can be the tipping factor that compels an employee to remain loyal.  A strong brand coupled with good benefits can indicate to the employee that you are a company where their needs are met, their purpose is clear, and you have a strategic plan for the future.  Again, think of brand as being a trustworthy friend.  Who would leave a friend and who would not follow a friend?


Brand. The Shared Vision.


When you communicate your benefits plan with a strong brand behind it, the perception to the employee is that the benefits are “worth” a lot more.  When premiums rise, how that’s presented can mitigate negative responses if the reasons or options are communicated clearly.  Brand is the vehicle for this.  A trustworthy friend would not haphazardly raise premiums, right?


Consider the stark difference of handing an employee their benefits listed on a sheet you created in Word with a blurry, distorted company logo, versus a professionally-created open enrollment package with a benefit guide and accompanying mobile app.  It’s not convincing that you gave the employee your best when, in fact, you may have with only the single sheet.  Perception.


Same information in these two scenarios; two different delivery experiences for the employee.  Not a shared vision.


Open Enrollment. Naughty or Nice?


TBC creates open enrollment packages that clearly communicate the benefits, address known questions and concerns of employees, and, most importantly, elevate your company brand throughout in words and images.  Testimonials will show you the difference it makes.


While we’re on experiences, consider your brand during open enrollment.  Keep in mind that benefits can often times be 15% of your yearly expense.  Why would you miss this opportunity to have employees appreciate and understand this “gift” while building your brand at the same time?


Most employees — and I dare say employers — see open enrollment as a confusing time of paperwork drudgery.  This should really be your time to make a positive impact and build excitement about benefits and brand.  After all, it’s a huge line item expense.  Let them know you are, in fact, “Benefits Santa Clause”.  No coal this year!


When They Know, You Grow.


When employees understand and appreciate their benefits, they become brand ambassadors.  That’s like free marketing dollars when employees are willing to tell their friends, family, and anyone else in their sphere of influence how much their employer cares for them.


When you have brand ambassadors employed, the difference in daily attitudes and production is undeniable.  Prepare to experience growth in many facets of your business when you have a strategy to leverage benefits as a brand-building tool.


Make a Plan to Work the Brand.


I could write several more pages on the benefits of brand in benefits. However, every company culture is different and at varying levels of sophistication in their brand development.  If you only consider my three high-level points above, you will be able to self-assess what a great vehicle benefits could be in elevating your company’s brand.  Ask yourself these questions:


  1. Do we leverage benefits to excite, assure, create understanding and promote our brand with employees?
  2. Do employees understand that “we are in this together” to control healthcare and benefits costs?
  3. Are we communicating to employees throughout the year about the most effective use of their benefits (telemedicine, price transparency, wellness, etc.)?


Prepare for Ignition.


Remember, brand is not just for your products and services.  Brand is also an internal ignition source that can motivate, inspire, and create loyalty with employees.  Don’t miss the opportunity to leverage benefits in expanding your brand internally.


TBC offers a unique approach in helping clients build brand through multi-year education and engagement strategies for their benefits plan.  If you want to see how The Benefit Company empowers brand to create the happiest employees at the least cost possible, contact us today.  Your employees, and your bottom line, will both benefit.


Director of Communications

John S. Dodson

Director of Communications
The Benefit Company

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