Celebrate your workforce and build brand loyalty

You may be familiar with Donatos’ People First focus on businesses supporting associates as whole people with full lives, rather than human beings that were hired to fill a role. This has a positive impact on company culture, and can influence customers’ brand loyalty, too.

Brands need to step up their game if they want to keep their spot in customers’ hearts – and wallets. Consumer spending habits are changing, and they’re putting an increasing emphasis on making sure they support the brands that they can identify with. Customers want to feel like their patronage positively impacts a person or a cause they believe in, and not just a bottom line. If brands use this insight to better connect with customers, they can drive loyalty and, ultimately, sales.

At Donatos, we’re amazed by the compassion and activism of our associates. We recently kicked off an initiative to tell the overwhelming number of stories we hear about the people who are changing the game on service and philanthropy — not only to celebrate our workforce, but to give our customers and community an inside look at our culture.

Live your company values

So, how do you identify the human-interest stories unique to your brand? The answer is easier than you might think. Hire associates that align with your company values, talk to them, get to know them, and then you’ll hear first-hand about the causes they care about and how/when they get involved.

Whether it’s taking part in a company-hosted volunteer day, an associate that went above and beyond on the job or an outside cause they devote time to, you may be surprised by how much of your workforce is passionate about big and small causes.

Social media is your friend

Once you’ve identified the stories you want to share, evaluate where it makes the most sense to tell them. Maybe an email blast is the best route. Maybe it’s something bigger that requires a more personal approach. When that’s the case, social media is the perfect tool to boost visibility and encourage your customers to engage with, comment on and share these stories.

Customers expect brands to do more than just sell to them on social media. They’re looking for a connection and an inside look at companies’ culture and values. On social media, brands can tell these stories with photos and captions — creating a massive impact on fans.

Social media isn’t new, but finding new ways to leverage it for digital storytelling presents opportunities to personify your brand to consumers and connect with them on another level. Our story is our people, what’s yours?

Tom Krouse is the President and CEO of Donatos Pizza. He has over three decades of restaurant industry experience, countless civic contributions and an award-winning career in marketing and management.