How to avoid a zombie brand-pocalypse

Tor Johnson.BrandZombies have much in common with angry current and former employees. They can decimate a brand as quickly as a village in your favorite horror movie.

Watch for the warning signs or it may be too late.

According to the Zombie Research Society, zombies have 3 main characteristics: 1. they are reanimated corpses, 2. are relentlessly aggressive and 3. are infected and infectious.

1.) reanimated corpses
You may have them—and now you'll recognize them immediately. They might be employees who are:

  • weary and numb, they haven’t had a good coach or mentor to help them grow
  • burned out and unengaged with your vision
  • overworked, with no help in sight
  • grumblers who never shared your purpose, but just want a paycheck

They are literally dead on their feet. Stumbling, bumping into things and groaning aloud. It can be terrifying to other employees and clients who must run for cover.Zombies NightoftheLivingDeadZombies from George A. Romero's classic Night of the Living Dead (courtesy of WIkipedia)

2.) relentlessly aggressive
Zombies never quit. In their relentless pursuit of brains, they’re almost unstoppable.

Make sure to give your employees food for their own brains so they’re not getting starved out:

  • Are staff meetings and working environment steeped in your culture?
  • Do you regularly share the business goals and progress toward reaching them?
  • Are training budgets adequate to support their personal growth and innovative ideas?

If you’re not feeding them, they’ll relentlessly search for another position—and kill your brand’s reputation as they spill out their venom on anyone who will listen. They can be lethal.

3.) infected—and infectious
The zombies in most movies create more of their kind with a bite. In your organization, the bite could be rumor mongering, playing politics or trouble-making that gets other people riled up.

It can spread like the flu at a daycare.

Employees who were previously ambivalent will “turn.” Good employees adopt bunker mentality as they fight for their lives. Soon, you have an epidemic.

Don't tolerate bad actors. Inoculate your employees and protect your brand by taking swift action.

be vigilant
Watch for the tell-tale signs: employees just going through the motions or doing the minimum to get by, loyal customers and employees suddenly missing.

If any one employee has all 3 of these issues, he may be past saving. If you have many employees with these issues, it could take radical action to save your brand. And remember to double tap.

Top photo: Tor Johnson as a zombie with his victim in cult movie Plan 9 from Outer Space. Photo courtesy of WIkipedia.


If you need help warding off some zombies, call Martha direct at 785.969.6203.

tags: brand loyalty, employees, profit, ROI, training, customer service, brand equity

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