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Brandwave-logo-6.png |Employee Experience | april '17
19.04.2017

I recently read a report about the consulting market in the GCC. Valued at about 2.7 $billion. obviously the lion share goes to KSA with 1.25 $billion, growing 9.4%.

However, what caught my attention is Oman. A country with roughly a population of 4.5Million and a GDP of 70$billions. The Omani economy is mostly trade led with high exports. In 2015, Oman has spent $100 million on consulting services, a 7% growth versus previous year.

The reasons behind this increase in GCC spend is the need to step-up their strategic capabilities in various domains to offset slowly their economy's dependence on oil & gas towards knowledge-based economies but also to be able to compete more strategically in the global markets.

In Lebanon, a country with almost similar population size, Per Capita GDP and an economy focused primarily on Services, most companies are yet to embrace the concept of investing on developing their strategic business skills & capacity building by tapping on the intellectual capital embedded in consulting services.

The reasons are many and are also to be found in the traditional mindset of 'doing things in-house' as a way to save money but also as an ego-centric form of saying that “we don't lack the capabilities and we don’t need anyone to tell us how to do things” type of self-reassuring/bragging statement.

And when they do ask for advise, they want to pay the cheapest possible because the painful truth is that they value the returns on Human's intellectual capital, & knowledge in general, way much lower compared to assets or financial capital. Whereas in the west, intellectual capital, innovations & patents are worth much more than the fixed assets of any company.

After all every successful company in the world was built around a great/ big idea and then scaled using applied knowledge, creativity sound strategic decisions.

Let us correlate the above with few recent facts:

-      Today the leading French newspaper shockingly revealed: "half of the banking sector deposits of $155billions is held by less than 1% of the total depositors”. The IMF has warned against this salient inequalities of wealth distribution.

-      According to to 2015 World Economic Forum competitiveness report, Lebanon ranked 101st out of 140 countries. Ranking 61/140 in terms of business sophistication and 95/140 on innovation.

This tells with some degree of certainty, that a substantial number of the country’s top economic actors are only interested in investing on traditional tools and the minimum they can on IC build up in view of maximizing and accumulating profits in the banks. A very short-sighted approach with potentially devastating effects on the country’s economic and social well being.

They are ready to invest on tangible assets, that usually depreciate fast, due to rapid changing technology but little on building up their intangibles such as strategic business capabilities (not only technical skills); Knowledge, R&D, Business model innovation, digital, customer-centric processes & policies and Customer experience all that create sustainable long term value, new employments, wealth creation and increase the stakeholders returns.

This is very awkward in our times when you think that the biggest global driver of value today is innovation which is by definition the outcome of intellectual capital and knowledge-based economy. P&G, PepsiCo, Google, Apple & Samsung to name just few examples are not competing on Assets or Capital anymore. They do on the best talents, knowledge accumulation, acquiring Intellectual capital and attracting strategic advisors & hiring of consulting firms to design & develop the most innovative customer value propositions via cutting edge products & services.

Uber and Airbnb both with astronomical capitalized market values don't own a single asset(cars or hotels). Their success lies in their capabilities to capture human needs and ideate simple solutions, scaled using existing knowledge and technology. This gives food for thought and illustrate my point.

In Lebanon, most observed companies keep doing the same things and expect different results. There is a tendency to blame all shortcomings on the economic & political situation. Only part of it is true. The other part is that customers have changed with the world around them, they are connected, demanding and expecting different experiences, to be valued, understood and served on multi-channels with consistent quality levels. They want their brands to surprise them & delight them but also to play a meaningful role in their life. They want to live and work in a stimulating, creative and dynamic ever learning environments.

To adapt to these customers’ demands companies equally need to design a growth strategy that mandates to review and upgrade their strategic capabilities & acquire new skills & knowledge that is usually lacking or not widely available internally. So accepting to call upon outside professional services of consultants & advisors must be embraced & paid generously as it’s the fastest way to bridge the knowledge gap, acquire and adopt best practices to increase their competitive advantages.

Luckily this is changing slowly as we are now witnessing more & more local companies driven by a new generation of leaders with an open mind to these facts and willing to mutate from traditional capital-based model to knowledge-based one.

We are blessed to be working with some of the country’s top businesses and new leaders who understand the importance of reinventing their organization, adopting new mindset, listening to their customers, sourcing strategic capabilities and trying new ideas.They ask us to help them build internal knowledge, innovate their strategies & services and even create innovation design labs so they build sustainable and differentiated value propositions.

So we hope more companies would start believing and embracing the value of knowledge so the above facts and performance indicators about our country can be improved substantially and make Lebanon with its immense human capital potential and creativity an example of a ‘knowledge country’.

Joe Ayoub- Business design/brandcell consulting.

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19.04.2017

In the business world, it’s become commonplace to improve relationships with customers by improving the customer experience. As products and services have become increasingly commoditised, providing the best customer experience has emerged as a key competitive differentiator. Companies vie for customer loyalty through personalized offerings, rewards programs, and one-to-one marketing initiatives—all in the name of increasing brand equity. And that’s as it should be. After all, customer loyalty drives business profitability.

However, in the quest to create exceptional experiences for customers, businesses often overlook a critical business fundamental: if you want happy customers, you have to have happy employees—and that comes from providing your employees with an exceptional experience too. Yet all too often there is a misalignment of one degree or another between the experience companies create for their customers and what their employees experience in their everyday work life. Who sees this misalignment better than anyone else? Employees.

The snowball effect

When companies shortchange employees in any number of ways, there’s a snowball effect. Employees become resentful and they disengage. That resentment and disengagement eventually finds its way to customers in the form of poor service and inferior products.

Adding to the disconnect is the fact that employees are customers too—of their company’s products, and potentially of competitors’ products as well. As an employer, wouldn’t you prefer your employees use and champion your products and services? If your relationship with them is poor, like any other customer, they’re likely to take their business elsewhere.

Treat employees like customers

Some forward-thinking companies have recognised that the foundation for a great customer experience is a great employee experience. Leading companies like Microsoft, Best Buy, and Capitol One are taking unique approaches to building relationships with employees, much like they’ve built relationships with customers.

Essentially, these companies know that the solution to the employee versus the customer experience disconnect is right in their wheelhouse—treat employees like customers. This effort pays off in more ways than one. Research has shown that a 10% increase in employee engagement levels can boost a company’s customer service levels by 5% and profits by 2%. Not only that, in 2015 a multi-year study by Glassdoor Research indicated companies with a high level of employee engagement out-perform the S&P 500 by 122%.

In my next post, I’m going take a deeper look into the seeds of experience-driven disengagement and show how it can impact your business.

Source accenture  

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OUR NEWS
Brandcell Conversations Edition 03

Brandcell Conversations Edition 03 from Brandcell on Vimeo.


As part of Brandcell knowledge initiatives, the 3rd edition of Brandcell conversations was held on March 10th 2017 around the theme “Decoding the Millennials, uncovering business opportunities”.

During this inspiring morning session, business professionals from several industries (F&B, banking, insurance, retail, public service, packaging and human capital consulting) discussed the main challenges faced with Millennials who seem to be (locally as globally) difficult to please.

From videos to presentations, discussions, workshops and guest speaker’s case studies, every part of the session enlightened the participants with fruitful insights about Millennials consumption preferences and priorities and the innovative concepts that are answering their today’s particular needs, highlighting the experiential dimension over he tangible benefits of goods. 

Finally understanding the experience design methodology used by service designers around the world and by Brandcell consulting in Beirut showed the participants the way forward to trigger the emphatic discovery process and the thinking and ideation steps that would lead to ground-breaking solutions in line with the new generation expectations.
19.04.2017
1- Bain & Company: “Our colleagues are legitimately smart and always interested in helping you progress your career.”

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2- Facebook: 
“Great benefits, culture, mission. There is a lot to love about working at Facebook. Most employees believe strongly in the mission.”
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3-Boston Consulting Group: “Great career progression, opportunity to learn, collaborative culture, very smart teams.”

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4- Google: 
“Smart people, data-driven decisions and culture, a mission I can feel good about when I go to work.” 
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5- World Wide Technology: 
“Extremely caring towards their employees as well as their customers. The benefits are amazing."
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6-Fast Enterprises:  
"The family atmosphere makes working together as a team satisfying and successful, as well as the out of office adventures and team building."

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7-In-N-Out Burger:
"Always busy, time flies, with hard work you move up pretty quickly, everyone is so nice and friendly, great positive atmosphere."
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8-LinkedIn:
"They truly invest in the professional development of employees. Very proactive at making sure that you're in a role you want to be in."

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9-Adobe:
"Great company culture, benefits and overall atmosphere to work. People are very open, knowledgeable and potential for advancement is very much available"

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10-Power Home Remodeling:
"The career growth opportunity is outstanding. Everyone in the office genuinely cares about each other and wants to see you be successful. Communication with upper management is incredibly easy also."

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Source glassdoor  



 
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FEATURED CASE STUDY: YEPREM
OVERVIEW

Yeprem Jeweler is expanding regionally and internationally and wanted to draft its Brand Strategy & positioning in order to develop the touch points material and guidelines in a consistent way across channels and markets. 

HOW DID WE HELP?

Brandcell Team uncovered key insights through an empathic research among key customers profiles and a thorough observation in the Jeweler shops. 

Then a one day workshop was organized with different members of the Yeprem Team to discuss findings and key positioning routes.
 

FEATURED BOOK
How to Increase Performance and Profits Through Full Engagement
by Rudy Karsan, Kevin Kruse

What if every single employee-every single one-worked in their dream job, utilized their best talents, worked with an inspirational leader and was fully engaged in their role?

For companies, this scenario leads to breakthroughs in productivity, customer service, profitability, and shareholder value. For individuals, it means better health, stronger relationships with family and friends, and greater happiness. We sketches the landscape of today’s changing job environment and gives managers and individual employees alike a road map to full engagement.



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1- Value Innovation and Agility

2- Foster Relationships Among Employees

3- Utilize Mobile-Friendly 
Communications
 
4- Recognize and Reward 
Employee Performance

5- Measure Engagement

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