While having a solid marketing plan and brand are (should be) top priority at your company, don't forget about filling employees in on the plan. Companies spend precious resources in researching, developing, designing, executing, tracking...that sometimes they forget to let the rest of the company in on the marketing party.
Employees are as much a part of your brand as your logo and pretty business cards. Every customer interaction (in person, phone, social media, however) is a chance to reinforce your brand. Do you want to portray your brand as experts? Masters of fun? Helpful? Hospitable? Then hire and train according to that philosophy.
A few months ago, I attended one of those group paint classes where you bring a friend and a bottle of wine, listen to some brief, expert instruction and you are off on a creative adventure. The first time I attended, everything went smoothly. The class started on time, the instructions were clear and help was always a whistle away. They even let me take some paint home with me, as I was far from being done, even past closing time.
So I raved about this experience to another friend of mine. This second time was different and has, unfortunately, changed my perception of the brand/company. There were two young girls that were in charge of this feisty group of females (including a bachelorette party). While the pre-plans that were emailed to us a day before boldly stated to be there 15 minutes prior to start time, this class didn't start until 20 minutes after the said start time. Because we were waiting for even the late comers to arrive. Were they going to pay for my overtime charges? The 'instructions' were so brief and provided no direction or clarification. We were lost from the start. And help was no where to be found. I was disappointed, so was my friend.
It's nice to see a start-up business take off into a grand success. But make sure you hire responsible people who believe in your brand as much as you do. Somebody needs to provide these girls with some instructions and scripts for handling classes. Like starting on time. Sharing expertise and being available with assistance. Not sure if I received my money's worth that night and, quite frankly, I'm a little hesitant to try again.
Marketing plans and brands should not just be kept between Marketing and Management. Each employee needs to be held responsible for consistently projecting the brand's image.