• Andy Goram

The Secrets To Values That Live

What do companies who have company values that are alive, adding value to the employees, helping the organisation to meet its objectives, differentiate it from the competition, and that stick, do differently to everyone else? In episode 23 of the Sticky From The Inside podcast, host, Andy Goram discusses just that with Gary Moss (Chairman) and Andrew Stothert (CEO) of Brand Vista, who work with companies from Astra Zeneca to Alton Towers to achieve that as they build irresistible customer experiences by aligning colleagues and customers.


The following is a full transcript of their conversation, where their many secrets and insights to achieving and sustaining a set of company values that really make a difference to colleagues, customers and performance are revealed.

Three smiling men talking about how to bring company values to life
Gary Moss (top left), Andrew Stothert (bottom left) and Andy Goram share the secrets to creating values that live, breathe and stick in organisations

00:00:00 Andy Goram

Hello, and welcome to sticky from the inside. The Employee Engagement podcast that looks at how to build stickier competition, smashing consistently successful organisations from the inside out. I'm your host Andy Goram and I'm on a mission to help more businesses turn their lights on behind the eyes of their employees, light the fires within them and create tons more success for everyone.

This podcast is for all those who believe that's something worth going after and would like a little help and guidance in achieving that. Each episode we dive into the topics that can help create what I call stickier businesses, the sort of businesses where people thrive and love to work and where more customers stay with you and recommend you to others because they love what you do and why you do it.

So, if you want to take the tricky out of being sticky, listen on.


00:01:10 Andy Goram

All right then. This podcast loves to talk about the importance of a strong set of authentic, differentiated and clear set of company values that are owned, valued and brought to life by employees. Now at the moment some companies will be taking full advantage of the good things that they've seen and done over the last 18 months, and some of the bits they might not be so proud of to refresh, renovate, and maybe, maybe even completely redesign their set of values. But what is it that these guys are going to need to do differently to the myriad of companies who will fail to deliver anything more than a collection of clever words and have values that truly live?

Well, with me today are two guys with bags of practical business experience of helping companies do just that. Andrew Stothert is the CEO and Gary Moss is the chairman of Brand Vista. Now, Brand Vista are specialists in creating irresistible customer experiences that colleagues are proud to deliver, which they achieve by aligning colleagues and customers. And using 360-degree insight they help businesses create brilliantly, differentiated brands and even more importantly, they're getting to deliver that throughout each and every customer touchpoint. They've published a book on the whole topic called Hot CX - customer experience realists and they work with a wide variety of clients from Astra Zeneca to Alton Towers and as they will no doubt passionately tell us today, the engagement of your people is the critical red thread running through any successful values delivery.

And today they're going to bring us into their circle of trust to help explain just what it takes.

Good morning guys, how are we, good?


00:02:53 Gary Moss

Morning Mr. Goram.


00:02:55 Andrew Stothert

Good morning, Goro.


00:02:57 Gary Moss

Welcome to our circle of trust.


00:03:00 Andy Goram

I feel buzzy to be in there. I've got to be honest; I feel buzzy to be in there. I think we need to sort of set something straight for the listeners right from the start, because we will slip into the vernacular from the very beginning. So, whilst we've got Andrew Stothert, Gary Moss, Andy Goram, it will end up resorting to Goro, Stoat and The Moose, at some point during this call. And for anybody who's not in the circle of trust, I am Goro, Mr. Stothert is The Stoat, and you are The Moose, Gary, right?


00:03:32 Andrew Stothert

It saves a complicated job title discussion then.


00:03:35 Andy Goram

Absolutely, absolutely. Look, I know and love you guys. We've worked together for many years, when I was a client, but listeners might not be so familiar with you, so can you just give us a quick insight into who you are and what you do?


00:03:48 Gary Moss

Yes, we formed in 2000 and we were both in the advertising world, working for J Walter Thompson. But our lives were changed by Alton Towers, which had taught us the way you build brands was not just through communications, as JWT would like to have done, but through the way that the teams deliver the service, the whole experience. So we’ve built up a company over the last 21 years that does that. So, we're set up with four skill bases. We've got a skill base of brand development because brands sit at the center of everything. We've got a skill base of change, so some professional change professionals who change things where they need to be changed, for efficiency purposes. Innovation, which is critical, absolutely critical to everything you do, particularly coming up with new stuff and of course we've got research skills and you mentioned Alton Towers and Merlin and Asda, we’ve also worked with some other companies in cities such as Blackpool and Newcastle, but also in it's all sorts of other leisure companies like David Lloyd, Greene King and all those sort of companies who’ve been really affected by the by the Pandemic. And there's loads of others.


00:05:03 Andrew Stothert

I think the other thing I would say, Gary, is that we also created a business we wanted to work in.

So, it's all very well a lot of companies talking about alignment and those sort of things. But actually our business is absolutely driven by our values and has been for 21 years. And we run on shop floor works principles, not a principle that cost you money. So, our teams are all recruited against those values and are just amazing people to help us do what we want to do.


00:05:36 Andy Goram

That's great, 'cause that puts you right in the center of what we're talking about today, you know, as exponents of doing it yourself and helping companies through that journey, you know, to hear that you recruit on values is a good badge to wear with honour, I think, in today's conversation.


00:05:51 Andrew Stothert

We also appraise on values. In fact, we run most decisions on those values, actually, Goro


00:05:58 Andy Goram

Which I think... which is great, and I think is one of the absolute foundations of having a set of values right? And let's start this conversation off by saying, unless you're going to use them, unless they're going to form part of a fundamental part of business, don't bother. You know, I mean, you could sit in a room for days with coffee and lovely biscuits coming up with some wicked words, but if you're never going to do anything with it, save the money on the biscuits and the hotel room, I think.


00:06:23 Gary Moss

There's a phrase we use right at the very beginning, called...which was.

Vision without action is hallucination.”

And that is so, so true. And I’ve seen so many values, one that are all exactly the same and so they never really catch on, and some which are just so intellectualised that they'll never catch on for completely different reasons. The ones that work, are obviously the ones that are memorable, but then that's only part of it. People say, “Do people know our values?” but that's really only part of it. It's how they embedded in the processes and the recruitment and in the way you deliver the service. But that's the key thing. But without that, there is no point, so absolutely, save on the Jaffa cakes.


00:07:06 Andy Goram

I would like to take, because I consider you two kind of rock stars of this whole stuff, so I'm going to take a sort of Tarantino-esque approach to today's agenda, in the way he tells a story back to front, almost. And I actually think sometimes people do values back to front. So, let's start with the launch of the values, right. The point at which some big wig in the company stands up and goes, “Right. Here are the values.” At that point, you know it's gone wrong when... complete the sentence lads, what's...


00:07:38 Andrew Stothert

Right? OK, well, let me have a go at this one, Moose. You know it's gone wrong when the CEO enters to some rendition of Tina Turner's "Simply The Best” or, “We Are The Champions” or something like that. It seems that they've been in place not for very long and the entire team are sitting there either online, or live going, “Here we go again.” and that's your audience and if any communication is to land, you've got to understand the audience. You've got to understand what will inspire them. What will turn them off. And so many of these things are sort of, onwards and upwards of better future, rather than being really kind human and lead from the front, but actually generated through the business. When you launch it, that launch should be a culmination of activity within the business, where you've been talking to the teams who play the customers every day, who manage the people who face customers every day, who are in areas of the business that don't even think that they impact on the customers, like finance, but they do, and actually gathering those values and understanding those insights from across that piece, means that when the head man or head woman stands up, and goes, “Right. This is kind of what we’re about”, everybody’s going, “Yeah. I had a bit of input into that.” It starts, the whole process starts by talking to people and listening and actually understanding that brutal truth is actually a benefit, not just a criticism.


00:09:10 Andy Goram

You got anything to add to that, Gary?


00:09:12 Gary Moss

No, Stoat’s absolutely right. You know, if you're standing up at a conference and announcing them for the first time to loads of people and you haven't involved, you know it’s going to go wrong. 'Cause it will just go wrong. If you've done it the right way and involved people and shared stuff, you won't have that moment at conference. But I have seen this happen where you just get a sea of blank faces. You hear things like, “I've done this before. Done it three or four times. It’s probably the same as last time.”

The worst one for me was, it actually came out quite well, was we were in front of 300 people, only about two years ago with a very well-known company we had a Mentimeter Instant Response mechanism, for people sitting, so you instantly knew whether it was good or bad because we stood back, so just write in two or three words that sum up your feelings. And you can see them materializing on a big wall behind you. And I was crossing my fingers, didn't see lots of swear words. Luckily it was alright. That's an instant find out.


00:10:13 Andy Goram

Well, I think this is one of those things where at a conference, which is all about shock and awe in lots of cases, this is the one you want the least surprise to happen, right? And I think people do get caught up in the drama of these things, and there’s a putting arms around their homework, “No, no, no. We mustn’t release it. It’s got to have really big impact.” To that point, it could have gone very differently with that sort of instant recognition or instant feedback, if it had fallen flat. I mean, and where do you go from there at that point?


00:10:40 Andrew Stothert

But the thing is, Andy, right, one of the things is, I mean, it's about shock and awe, but one of the big shocks is if you brought everybody along, you listened to them, you're presenting back to them... one of their big shots is you've actually listened to them.


00:10:53 Andy Goram

There you go.


00:10:54 Andrew Stothert

They will just go, “Whoa, hang on a minute. This is something serious.” Because actually, you know, because most companies sadly don't listen. They just sit themselves in an echo chamber and you know, senior management talk to each other about what's right, they don't understand the delivery is by these amazing people at the front of house.


00:11:15 Andy Goram

Yeah! And I think that point about listening is that it's got to be backed up by action and communication, and that's not always doing everything, everybody suggests. That's having the nuts to kinda go, “Thank you for that, but we're not going to do that. And here's the reason why. But keep talking.” So, I think it comes from both, from both sides. And I love the bit about retained memory of employees. Just because it's your values project. You’re chairing it, doesn't mean these guys haven't seen this stuff before, so why is your stuff different? And yeah, listening makes a big, big difference, I think, for sure.


00:11:50 Gary Moss

I did see a company get around that. They didn't involve their employees and then they presented four or five values that they said were going to guide them over the next five years. They were pretty bland. It didn't really mean much different. Then I think they got away with it a little bit, because they then said, “Right. Here's some actions we've just done.” and aligned the reasons for why they've done those things, back to their values, “And these are things we're going to do.” And you could almost sense in the audience, people moving to the front of their seats, I mean unfolded arms at the back of the seats. It was only because it was action aligned to them, they thought it went well. It wasn't doomed because they hadn't involved everybody, but at least it had a bit of a chance to succeed there, 'cause they’d worked out what the strategies and tactics were to go with it.


00:12:39 Andy Goram

Why do you think there is this fear, around involvement?


00:12:46 Gary Moss

That’s a good question?


00:12:48 Andrew Stothert

I think there are multiple reasons really. One is it's a kind of misinterpretation of leadership, I think sometimes. Where leadership is actually really about getting the best out of people, getting the most out of everybody. And we describe leadership as taking people to places they don't know exists currently. There's a lot of stuff floating around with kids saying senior leadership having to make the right decisions blah blah blah. But also, there are, from a lot of companies, immense pressures from investors and shareholders, and things which actually can act as an apparent counterbalance between doing the right thing. I don't think it's actually true, but yeah, these pressures and sometimes people actually don't want to hear. They genuinely don't want to hear. They come in with a master plan, they're going to deliver it blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and these are kind of... you know, these are not the level 5 leaders that Jim Collins describes in “Good to Great.” And I think these are just the kind of you know, the “burn it and churn it” for three years and get out and turn the business. All of which are legitimate approaches but don't pretend, you know. You either are a leader, or you’re not. I think leaders listen. They also get...they do take the brutal truth. They take this brutal truth as being a gift that allows them not to make mistakes.


00:14:17 Andy Goram

Yeah, well there's no point putting a fudge in place. It's never going to go anywhere. I think there's a failing to think that you know all the answers, you've got a plan. Don't derail it by giving me your opinions. Whereas what you really want behind a set of values is; what are the things we're going to have to do, that employees will value, that will point us in the right direction, get the job we want done, done in the way we need it to be done. And that employee bit within that, is absolutely huge, because at the end of the day, that's where the groundswell is. That's where the momentum is going to come from. That’s where the delivery is going to be?


00:14:53 Gary Moss

I think sometimes that fear you refer to, is if people have been very tightly related to what went before. It's a lot easier to do it if you if there's something happened and events or something new that's something that you can almost park what's happened before and start afresh. The instance I referred to earlier, with the Mentimeter, that we got all the response to. That was a new Chief Exec. With a whole new, well, whole set of people in a team for the first time, and was really open to the bad stuff that had gone before. And then we went through various layers of people, to talk to them and then presented the answer there. So there was no relationship with what had gone before, so the fear wasn't there. So that's one of the big things where the fear comes from, I think.


00:15:42 Andy Goram

Ok. So, if we think of this as a situation where, you know, conference substance has overridden everything, and we haven't had involvement... if we go back to our Tarantino way now and now dig under the skin of what should we have done? What should the process have been? What do you think makes the ideal process for getting a set of values off the paper, or, as I say, off the mural and into the mindset. What's that process that you would advocate?


00:16:12 Gary Moss

We normally start, it's not always the same way, everything is different, but we've got to bring the customer into this and look at what the brand needs to stand for and where the customer is going. So, they have to be brought into it. And that means talking to them or using stuff you've already got, to work out exactly where should this brand go?

Then you go to colleagues on the front line. See where they need to go. And then you go to colleagues further up the food chain as well, to the top of the business. What are the business ambitions? What are the financial constraints? What's the three-year plan? And then you got to do a 360-degree view about where we're starting from, the “as is situation” and where you need to get to. Then you can align the three through talking to your teams, creating what four or five things may take you there, then putting in the KPI's, and then taking you through strategies, tactics, to deliver against whatever it is, four or five values that you’ve got.


00:17:13 Andy Goram

And this alignment thing, Andrew, I guess is where you've got the slightly different view to lots of other people that have this stuff, right? The alignment of those, almost those we say two, but the way you just described it, the three cases. The customer, the employee and the leadership.


00:17:28 Andrew Stothert

Yeah, and I think experience tells us that, you know, you can't actually deliver a great customer experience unless your colleague experience is kind of driven and really inspiring and all those... You can't get people, treat them like sh*t , and can’t get them to get up in the morning and start selling your stuff. We've seen it all over the place. But it is a triangle, you know, if the business is not lead and the leaders of that business don't behave in the way that the values will want to deliver, then you're offto a kind of loser. So, I think ultimately balancing that triangle is all about empirical evidence. Because everywhere there's a lot of subjectivity around these things. And everything, as Gary said, has to come back eventually, any actions and activities and kind of processes that you use, we've got to bring it back to business performance in some way. You've got to link it, no matter how the thread sort of weaves through the business, you’ve got to link it back to board-related KPI's. Because then the Board can see the size of the prize. They can see the benefit of what's going on. And you don't have to do it, or you don't have to boil the ocean as they say. You can do it through piloting. You can do it through the development of kind of whole measurement systems. But ultimately, if you're not balancing those three things, then I'm afraid it becomes a pretty impossible task then. And it's not easy, but it's like anything else is, if you get a flywheel going and people get it, and they really begin to understand it, and the Board begin to see movement, and they're consistent with their behaviors and then the customer begins to feel it... Because yeah, the other phrase we've got, we've had for 20 years is, “The insides always leak out.” So, you can tell when a company is on the move. You can also tell what it's in reverse, as well, because you know they spout all this great stuff in their advertising, and we go and experience the actual product, or service, or whatever and it's rubbish. And we read people like a book. And colleagues read management communications, like a book. Yeah, we've become very sophisticated at these things. So, balancing those three elements with empirical evidence, it's got to be the start point.


00:19:52 Andy Goram

Yeah, and I guess the sort of crux of it all is then trying to transfer and create real ownership for these things in the lives of the employees, right? And where does... well, what sort of stuff do you feel is really important to make that happen? What's your approach?


00:20:11 Andrew Stothert

Well, basically you got to make it real. You know there’s a sort of great intellectual debate goes on around values and all those sorts of things, but ultimately you need to create something in its simplicity can be used by anybody. Be it the chief executive or be it the front of house person delivering it. And we do a number of different things where we plan for example, the first point is how do you remove pain? How do you remove the pain of delivery? This is usually around process and people having to work around things, gets in the way, uses up time and they can't do what they're being asked to do. This is quite a rapid, change-based opportunity. Then you've got to work out, OK, what are we going to deliver are our basics. Not the sector basics, the kind of standard procedural model sort of thing, but what are our basics driven by our brand, driven by our values. And then so you then get an operating model you can look at and see and touch. And then what are your brand amplification points? What are the one or two moments where you're just going to make this brand absolutely sing? You can’t have millions of them, but actually what are those things?

But again, each of these have to be involved, engaged with the teams, researched with customers because, we did a piece of work for a client a while ago, and we had all these amplifications points, and all the customers are going, “No. (We) expect that. Expect that.”


00:21:43 Andy Goram

That's hygiene.


00:21:44 Andrew Stothert

Yeah, it might be differentiating in your brain, but it's hygiene in the real world, sort of thing. So, it is actually having a manageable system, that also doesn’t, especially in these times, doesn't require you to extract whole parts of the team for long periods of time, just to concentrate on that thing. It's one of the issues with kind of some of the sprinting stuff, where you can't take teams out of the business for a whole week to solve one problem. We've got to be multifunctional about it.


00:22:17 Gary Moss

In terms of ownership, Goro, ownership starts when the project starts, when the whole... communicating widely with the company about what you're doing, involving them in little groups, so they begin to gather ownership. And internal PR about what you're doing, why you're doing it, just starts that ownership, Making them different so people know that they are purely theirs. So, I just wrote a few down that we that we work with “Goggles on”. This is a value, “Happenability”, “Crusty Busting” is one of our client’s values. “Wowification”, “Viva la difference”, “Clubiness”. They’re all written in a different way. They're not “Respect” or "Fun”, or very basic things. They're owned, by that company. And I think, if they are expressed in a different way and an entertaining way, but are still understandable, then people will own them. And that's the next bit, which is test it, internally. Because some of those words I just read out might have... people might be interpreting them in a different way, so there's a great way so, well, “Let's make them different and entertaining.” But if they interpreted in different ways then we've got a problem. Those all actually worked really well, but some of them, well actually work too well, and had to be pegged back a bit, but that's another way of making them owned.

So then qualitatively, spiritually, emotionally, they are part the company. Continually having that conversation with everybody else, making sure people know what we're doing. And then, at the end you embed it. It's not just about memorising it. That’s 5% of the job. It's embedded in reward and recognition. Right at the beginning of how you how you recruit people. And then it's all the KPIs going forward as well. And before you know it, they are embedded. People talk about them naturally. They're not remembering them; they just know them and then everything that they do is aligned with those values and those values, you’ve probably got to refresh them every three or four years just to make sure that they're still relevant. But you change them at your peril.

We're looking at... in fact the meeting we had before this morning, was with a very well-known British brand and we've got four values. That's it, and a lot of time has been invested in getting these right. They're not too dissimilar to what they were in the first developed them, 10 years ago. But then it's a brand and they should continue that way.


00:24:27 Andy Goram

I was going to say, when you talk about like, purpose projects, you know they're often called the “100-year project”. Because this is a kind of like absolute core thing which you’re not going change that often, right?


00:24:35 Gary Moss

Yeah


00:24:36 Andy Goram

You might tweak it around the edges, might have some different focuses, but it needs to remain, I guess, solid as possible, but relevant. And I think back to some of the work we did, you know, about words. You know I will park my own issue with the word “integrity” and why on Earth that appears in people’s value sets as that's a hygiene factor, right, comes back to that. I remember we talked about we were going to use the word “love” in a value set, in a business that I worked in before, and everybody who put it together, was really passionate for that word and really loved it. And then when it went into test it was like, “What? No no no no no! That's way too strong. That's, that's... no. That’s not where we are!”


00:25:14 Gary Moss

Yeah, yeah.


00:25:16 Andy Goram

And so we were like, “Ok?”, recognising those things. And then I think, with that ownership piece, yes, there's the reward and recognition, and there is the dark side of that as well. Which is the kind of reward and consequence. 'Cause I think there's no quicker way to kill your value set, than allow anti-value behavior to go unchecked. And I think that's what differentiates the great from the good. Yes, we hear all the brilliant stuff, but we pick up the rubbishy stuff as well and we cut it and nip it in the bud.


00:25:47 Gary Moss

That's a really good point, Goro, because you can set it back ages if you don't then act, where something isn't actually aligned. We've got one client who put together... We did this with, then had to have a reorganisation. And he said, I hope this is true, he then said, “When I went through with everybody why we were all reorganising, and having to just change some people’s roles, but also let some people go, we went through the values, which then aligned with the strategies. There was very little complaint. People kind of instantly recognised why they weren't part of the new team.”

I hope that's true, because they would have been unhappy as well, in that new environment. So, yeah, you've got to act on the other side of that, that’s a really good point.


00:26:30 Andy Goram

Yeah, I pray for that. I pray that story is true because that's the whole point of having these things.


00:26:36 Gary Moss

Yeah, yeah, yeah.


00:26:36 Andy Goram

It is a guideline for decision-making in the business, no matter what it is. And when things are at their toughest that's when you should be leaning the most on your values.


00:26:48 Gary Moss

Yes, and another client we’ve got said that’s what's got him through the Pandemic, where he's had to close everything, was his values


00:26:59 Andy Goram

Right?


00:27:02 Gary Moss

And the actions that they took, went in the lens of his values and constantly reminding people why he was doing those things. It really strengthened those values and accelerated the change that he's had to go through in that particular company where those values were so key. And of course, he started off on that particular road in the right way. In that people were involved all the way through it. So yeah, totally agree. The integrity one, Goro, I remember very well because, and we've had that in various financial-based companies where they said, “One of our values is integrity” so I’ve said, “Yes, I understand that, but it's a sort of what we would call foundation value. Which still key is critical. And you've got to have it there. But it's not the one that's going to make it different or give you an inspirational customer experience in the end. It's hygiene.” So, splitting them between the foundation values and the standout values is another way of making it work for them.


00:27:57 Andy Goram

Yeah I yeah, I agree with that. I just have to park my own issue with that particular word. Uh, you know that that's my problem.


00:28:05 Andrew Stothert

Yeah, I think I think the point of the point you're making, Gary, of having to continuously review. I mean we had it within our own business where we had a value of “always on.” It was the value that was all about looking at stuff, absorbing stuff, reading stuff, communicating stuff to clients to keep our knowledge really, really fresh, and almost having a sort of scan on the horizon. And what a lot of people coming into the business began to feel it meant was, you're going to work your nuts off all the time. And so, what we've done is we reviewed that, we talked about it, and now we've got “Goggles on.” Which is, to me, a much better rendition. It was just in the translation of that value. So, you've got to be really careful to keep your finger on the actions that your values are driving.


00:28:54 Andy Goram

100% my friend. I totally agree with that. Uhm, can I just pick up on the measurement bit that you talked about? So, I'm sure you think that one of the ways to keep these things alive, is to constantly talk and reference and benchmark and show performance against it. But how do you talk to clients about really actively measuring delivery of the values.


00:29:18 Gary Moss

There was a man working in the bingo industry once...


00:29:23 Andy Goram

Ah!


00:29:24 Gary Moss

He may look a bit like you, Goro. I don't know. He rung me up and said to me one day, “Oh Gary! We've got this set of values, we’ve got all these things sorted out, we've spoken to this company about measuring it.” And I went, “Oh, we could do that!” Then we went away and invented a product to do it. It's really the principles the most important thing. You need to measure, but not perhaps in the way that a lot of other companies do it, which is a very straightforward awareness. Awareness, do you know it? All those sort of things. But the actions that you take to deliver it are the key thing. So, you need to take readings, regular readings from your customers, because your internal values inside leak out are critical from your colleagues. And then other people who are going to have some influence on you're Brand and where you’re going, so you have three audiences, and you need to know where are you against the vision you've got and you need to have a diagnosis. So, if you're going towards it, or away from it, you need to know why. Most things you'll need readings about, customer service, colleague engagement, all those things. And that's the critical thing. So it's just three measures and it has to go deeper than most pulse surveys, and probably augmented by some qualitative research as well to get it. But the real critical thing, is do it in a simple way, with one way of measuring it, so that you know what a good value is or what a good score is, sorry, and what a bad score is. Because often things are kicked out of research which says, “Oh, you've got your overrider indicator underrates the score of minus .310. But it's measured differently in productivity”, or something like that. It's got to be the same way, so you know that 54 is loads better than the 22 or minus 15.

So 'cause this has to go... the big difference is this research doesn't sit in HR or OPS or Marketing. It's got to go company-wide. So you're HR Director, or HR Team, need to know they're doing well on certain things, letting them down on other things, and same with OPS and all the other elements that are delivering the brand. So yeah, we've got quite a lot. Quite a phone call you made 15 years ago, I have to say.


00:31:42 Andy Goram

God! Is it 15 years ago? My Lord!


00:31:44 Gary Moss

Probably that. I just guessed it was that. It's probably 4! I lost track.


00:31:50 Andy Goram

All I do know, all I do know, is that when you get these things talked about at the same level and cadence as financial measures, that's when things start to happen.

When they're not seen as the sort of the illegitimate sprog under the staircase, that you pull out once a quarter to have a look at what our eNPS score is. That’s not what we're talking. We are talking about living and breathing and embedding these things. And the only way to do that is to have consistent reference to them and paying the same attention to these metrics as you would against your return on investment, or your turnover or whatever else it might be. That’s what I think.


00:32:28 Gary Moss

There will be, inevitably, correlations between some of those metrics; two or three and the bottom line. And intention to buy again, intention to visit again, whatever it is. And then, once you find those correlations, you really know where to put resources. And that's a kind of that's a kind of key thing.


00:32:46 Andrew Stothert

And when you come a sort of layer down that into execution, when you're actually delivering the alignment plan, you are working with teams right at the sharp end to remove pain. Then you need to create that frictionless feel for their customer. You’re working at some very, very granular information areas around process, about time about cost. All of which is looked at through the lens of the brand. So, rather than just doing it to save money, you're looking at to improve the experience for both colleagues and customers. You then can pull really granular detail out and you can you say, for example in one, in one client we took the brand right into the front of the house. We changed the way that the initial sale was made. We allow people to... we actually allowed the front of house to sell what they wanted to sell and what they thought the customer in front of them wanted to buy to get the best experience. And net net of everything we dropped across the global estate, we dropped about £2.6 million to the bottom line.


00:33:47 Andy Goram

Wow!


00:33:48 Andrew Stothert

Just by looking at how the brand will deliver. And then let's save some time, let’s save some effort, let's increase the sales utilisation, let's look at... but we do all of that kind of change stuff that again rings a little bell in the boardroom, that then this is quite interesting. And because we pilot rapidly, then we can calculate the size of the prize, so the business can then decide whether or not it wants to roll that out across its estate or wherever it is, or it goes no, that's not a viable product. So again, presenting the board with empirical evidence right from the sharp end where the customer and the colleagues sort of operate together, allows you to, as you say, Goro, it allows you to really prove the value of this, not just at the high-level positioning piece, but actually in the experiential delivery. And all this stuff is trainable. That's the bit I love, is, you know, we can sort of transfer skills and capabilities in the front of house. We trained the whole line guys, operating guys in semiotics. So, they act so they actually know what they're looking at. You know these were guys walking past dustbins that were full. And now they don't. Painted buildings and unpainted buildings say different things about what you think about your customers. And of course, the great one is the Loo. The greatest communicator of many experiences, especially in pubs and places is the Loo.


00:35:20 Andy Goram

That's how much we care about you, the state of our toilet.


00:35:22 Andrew Stothert

Bingo. And everything is a communication. We miss it.


00:35:27 Andy Goram

100% agree with that, my friend. 100% agree. As I look at my timer again, I'm always amazed how quickly the time flies on this thing. So, we have to try and summarise what we've talked about so far. So, this show has a section, I really should work up a Jingle for, Sticky Notes, right? So sticky notes are where you get to impart your 21 years of wisdom on 3 little sticky notes that people can take away, that I stick up on the walls of Sticky Studios, that means that if someone is thinking about putting a set of values together or tweaking it or renovating it, these are the three bits of advice we would give you.

So, what would your three sticky notes be today?


00:36:08 Andrew Stothert

Well, I think I the first one would be listen. And really listen to your customers to your teams and you also to kind of what you feel and actually treat brutal truth as a gift. Something that can really help. It says that you're actually doing all of your work, creating values, and then taking that through the business based on empirical evidence, and not just opinion. Because I think opinion is where you end up with the mouse mat and the logo on the mug, sort of stuff without it truly embedding. And it actually is the communication that you are listening, so getting out there and talking to people because again, you’ve got to make it real.

The second one would be, link all of your activity to evidence that the board can see. So, whether it's the high-level stuff Gary is talking about, around the brand alignment monitor and the kind of overall progress the brand is making, or it's a granular detail of execution that links through into the financial and performance criteria that the Board are looking at. Get those threads feeding all the way through there. Because again, it's about credibility. 'Cause yeah, this isn't a bit of fun, this is a business tool that we were talking about using it, something that's absolutely critical.

And ultimately, I think the third one would be, keep it simple. Explain it in a language that people not only understand, but are inspired by it. You know, creating some great monolith, a great sort of intellectualism and all that sort of stuff is bound to fail, because as we used to say in Alton Towers, “If the burger flipper gets it, then we're doing a great job and they understand what they're doing, how they're contributing” or the donut salesman or whatever it is. Because if you don't get it, you aren't going anywhere. You're not going to align anything and it will just become that sort of dusty mural as you describe it, Goro.


00:38:07 Andy Goram

Yeah, which is not what we want and not what you guys deliver and has absolutely no benefit for business. So, look, thank you for that. Three really good sticky notes. Listen to that brutal truth. Show the board the evidence and just keep the language simple and inspiring, right? I think that's a great message for everyone.

I cannot believe how quickly the time has gone. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and insights with me and the audience today. And I hope to see you again very, very soon, but I genuinely thank you so much for your time and efforts today. I know like lots of my guests, you're extremely busy and I guess right now with everything that's been going on in the last 18 months, that's especially true, right?

And for the benefit of the tape, both gentlemen are nodding furiously. That's how busy they are. There's no words that could describe it. OK guys, thank you ever so much you take care. I'll see you soon.


00:39:02 Gary Moss & Andrew Stothert

Thank you Andy. Cheers! Goro Thank you very much. Great to see you. See you soon.


00:39:06 Andy Goram

That was Andrew Stothert and Gary Moss from Brand Vista. If you'd like to find out a bit more about them and the company and what they do and any of the topics that we've touched on today, please check out our show notes.


00:39:23 Andy Goram

So that concludes today's episode. I hope you've enjoyed it, found it interesting and heard something maybe, that will help you become stickier, more successful business from the inside going forward.

If you have, please like comment and subscribe, it really helps.

I'm Andy Goram and you've been listening to the sticky from the Inside podcast until next time, thanks for listening.

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