Go brush your teeth!

Toothbrushes I have a daughter.  She’s 13.  From the time she was a toddler as bedtime approached, I have said "go upstairs and get ready for bed.  Please wash and brush."   Every time.  I still do.

You’d think after a year or even two, I would not have to add the washing and brushing details.  But I do.  Why?  Because I want her to do them.  So I repeat myself.  Because it matters.

Wondering why I am telling you this?  We’ve been having a great discussion in the comments section of my recent post Is your little red wagon stuck? and I want to expand on it a bit.  But here’s the set up.

  • If you are smart enough to make a brand promise that matters to your clients — your employees will either keep or break that promise.
  • The success rate of their keeping the promise is directly proportional to if they know, get, believe and own the promise.
  • The success rate of that is up to you.

So why does this so rarely happen?  Lots of reasons.  But a huge one is because companies think talking to their employees about their marketing and branding is optional.  Or reserved for an annual rah rah speech.  Wrong.

"Go upstairs and get ready for bed.  Please wash and brush."

You may be intimately familiar with your brand promise because you created it.  Or write from it.  Or it is your inspiration for getting up and going to work every day.  But that does not mean every employee has that same experience.  We have to make it part of our daily conversation.

"Go upstairs and get ready for bed.  Please wash and brush."

For most employees, keeping their company’s promise is pretty low on the list.  Because no one has demonstrated to them why it matters.  It’s not that they don’t care.  They just don’t get it yet.  You haven’t talked to them about it enough.  Every day you talk to them about being on time.  Or filling out the form correctly so they get paid.  But you don’t talk about the customer.  Or the promise.

"Go upstairs and get ready for bed.  Please wash and brush."

Just because you know (if you do) how vital this is for your organization, don’t assume that they do.  Even if you’ve told them.  Once.  Or twice.  I can see you waving your hands at me.  "We get it, Drew.  We get it.  So when have we done it enough?  When do we stop talking about it with them?"

Simple. When it isn’t important any more.

"Go upstairs and get ready for bed.  Please wash and brush."

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5 comments on “Go brush your teeth!

  1. Steve Sisler says:

    Great transition to a branding reinforcement of something that all of us parents promote, encourage, (and lots of other verbs!) our kids to do. What a smart guy!


  2. Steve,

    Thanks. Either that — or my entire life is a marketing metaphor!!


  3. Chris,

    If it matters enough to us, it should be part of our regular dialogue and language.

    I’m sure I drive my staff nuts saying the same things over and over. It just matters that much. Or else, I am that simple minded!


    1. I could not agree more.


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