According to this ISR report top brands underperform financially and have poor levels of employee engagement. They have compared companies rated by Business Week as having the highest brand value with a set of “high performing” companies – and the branded businesses are found seriously wanting. Conclusion?
Many top brand companies are vulnerable. They are performing poorly on the cultural dimensions that deliver success under a brand/image strategy. This exposes them to low levels of employee engagement and to inferior levels of financial performance.
Now I take these kinds of surveys with a large pinch of salt, since there must be so many variables affecting ratings, and there’s some danger in averaging the ratings of what are very diverse businesses. Nevertheless, I find it very intriguing that ISR identifies a low level of employee engagement in top brands. Could it be that these highly image-conscious organisations have become so mesmerised by their outward appearance that they have lost sight of satisfying their own staff. Are they, perhaps, experiencing the emptiness inside that afflicts all narcissists?