The resurgence of post-covid in-person interaction is here. People are reconnecting with each other, and now is the opportune time to cater your brand to those in-person interactions. Your brand strategy may be strong on paper, but its practical application by every person associated with your brand is what defines it in the public eye, and ultimately is what drives results.

How your brand strategy is brought to life through behavior and action leaves your guests with a lasting memory of what it felt like to engage with your brand.

Having a defined mission, vision, and values is the best way to drive your business forward with a clear direction. The mission is your present goal, the vision is the long-term goal, and the values encapsulate how a business will achieve those. Giving leaders and employees guidance on how to actualize those abstract concepts helps translate corporate messaging into real-world practice. This is where brand behavioral standards come in.

Last year, I transitioned from Chief Administrative Officer to COO of iCRYO, the fast-growing recovery and wellness brand. Previously, I worked for over 20 years leading and directing hospitals across the country. My work in healthcare operations, implementing best practices with patient experience and ensuring strong physician collaboration has uniquely prepared me for this role.

Working on the operations side of iCRYO has been an exciting opportunity to continue building the company’s unique brand identity and applying the insight that I’ve gathered from my career in the healthcare industry.


In the franchising space, I have seen how clarifying your core messages makes it easier for employees and guests to connect with a brand. If your business is looking to deepen its connection with its employees and guests, then time, energy, and resources need to be devoted to creating an exceptional brand standard guidebook that sets clear expectations for behaviors that reinforce the brand.


Outlining concrete behaviors for employees establishes companywide alignment and ensures the entire organization feels more connected and passionate about their work. From decades of experience implementing these strategizes, I am sharing my top five best practices as it relates to brand behavior standards.


Consistency is Key

When you ask people to behave a particular way at work, you need to be prepared to help your team understand the ‘why’ behind the action.


For example, if you ask employees to greet guests with a particular expression, link it back to your brand’s core messaging. At iCRYO, I’ve been working to build standard operating procedures (SOP) across the organization that create consistent experiences for guests regardless of what location they are visiting.


Communicating with franchisees regularly to help enforce this becomes critical. We’ve found that establishing a cadence of meetings, structured education programs, and weekly communications from the corporate team clarifies expectations and ultimately helps drive accountability. In the last year, we’ve put together a calendar of essential huddles with pre-planned topics so that attendees can come prepared with questions and explore how a topic relates to their location for more meaningful calls. Actions like these can solidify a business’ value in teamwork and productivity.


Prioritize Empathy

Brands must show empathy towards their guests and understand their needs and pain points. This can be achieved by actively listening to guests and taking their feedback into account. Take the time to examine the nuances of a guest’s experience to learn where to allocate more resources.


Pay attention as well to how employees are responding to initiatives and communication practices. Employees have a job to do, but they too are human and susceptible to illness, tragedy, and mistakes. Have clear expectations of job performance, but always lead with empathy. These behaviors promote compassion and indicate that a business values the quality of life of both employees and guests.


Add the Human Touch

Gone are the transactional days of serving a guest a product and moving onto the next. Guests crave experiences and brands today have the power to tailor that experience to the individual’s needs. Businesses have more insight than ever on the preferences of their clients, but there is nothing more humanizing than connecting with another individual in-person. Clarifying your brand’s voice through personalized interactions applies to the interactions employees have with guests while directly providing services, but also to your marketing team’s voice while crafting and sending follow-up emails to those guests after a visit.


When connecting with franchisees and on-the-ground teams, realize that these values still apply. Honor the commonalities that bring all employees to the brand whether they are an executive, a manager, an operations specialist, or a service provider. At iCRYO, actions like these are encouraged to instill our core values of putting people first and providing exceptional service.


Lean on the Cutting Edge

Innovation is something that brands cannot shy away from. Brands must continuously innovate and improve their products and services to meet guests’ needs and exceed their expectations. Embrace innovation as often as you can, so long as it works with your brand’s mission.


The same goes for building internal operational procedures. By embracing innovation and using it to help employees grow, a brand maintains its relevance while investing in its people.


Invite Collaboration

Brands must collaborate with their guests and involve them in the development of services that meet their needs. This can be achieved by soliciting feedback and involving guests in co-creation initiatives. By giving guests a stake in the brand, you develop a relationship that makes both sides feel recognized and seen. Collaborating with guests and franchisees in an open-dialogue ensures that iCRYO is constantly in touch with the needs of our guests and able to evolve to meet those needs on an ongoing basis. 


Trends change and so does the public’s behavior— the first people who understand how that will affect a business are those who interact with guests, employees and franchisees every day. Inviting collaboration from within your business not only improves the culture, but ensures the long-term viability of the business in whole.


While brand behavioral standards can outline the specific behaviors that bring the company mission, vision and values to life, it is the actions taken on a day-to-day basis by every person associated with the brand that will demonstrate whether or not your business is truly living those values. In past work experiences, I have found that the businesses that are the most successful about executing these five practices create caring work environments that not only support the employees but drive a world class guest experience. Establishing behavioral standards ensures that everyone is on the same page, so we can move forward together toward achieving the brand vision.

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