The question the speakers explored was, how does a firm achieve brand authenticity? Firms must ensure alignment between their public statements and their internal values and practices. As Scott Uzzell noted, “The first thing that a firm should monitor is what they stand for as a brand…what is happening with their employees, suppliers, and shareholders.” Only after earnestly assessing their internal values can a firm confidently issue a public statement knowing that what they say is consistent with what they do.
As a senior brand manager at Procter & Gamble, I can attest to the value of brand authenticity not only in the context of social justice or business growth, but also with respect to the development and fulfillment of a company’s employees. Whether through its willingness to confront toxic masculinity in its “We Believe” campaign, the continuous improvement of its DEI strategy, or its stance on the BLM movement, I am proud to work for a company that lives its brand.
Firms that live their brand believe that their people are their greatest asset and focus on the well-being and development of their employees through robust training programs and mentorship. As Uzzell stated, “If you say you're for all of your employees, it is your responsibility to take a stand and back your team.” In my experience, the firm culture that results from these characteristics enables a rapid sense of business ownership among all employees. This in turn drives professional and personal growth along with career fulfillment.