How Employee Engagement Builds Brands with Thom Wyatt

thom wyatt

“I spend a lot of my time at the intersection of branding and social media.” As Global Director of Employee Engagement at Siegel+Gale, Thom Wyatt helps organizations build brands through improvements in employee engagement, corporate culture, and organizational purpose. I couldn’t wait to discuss all of this with Thom on this week’s episode of the On Brand podcast.

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About Thom Wyatt

Thom Wyatt is the Global Director of Employee Engagement at Siegel+Gale. He has always understood that the key to business success is not just coming up with great ideas—it’s about implementing them with a powerful combination of innovation and creativity. Throughout his successful career, Thom has parlayed his experiences as a branding consultant and advertising maven—as well as his laser-focus on customer insights and meaningful brand differentiation—to exponentially grow his clients’ businesses.

Before joining Siegel+Gale, Thom served as an executive director at Landor Associates, where he led engagements for a wide range of leading brands such as DC Comics, FedEx, HP, Hilton, The Home Depot, and Visa. Earlier in his career, Thom cut his teeth in advertising for Procter & Gamble, Gatorade, Colgate, and MasterCard. His work was so impressive that KitchenAid hired him as the Director of Marketing and Innovation for its parent company, Whirlpool Corporation. He was also an account director at advertising agencies Young & Rubicam and Grey Group.

Thom’s work has won numerous awards including three Clio Awards, two Effie Awards, the Halo Award, the P&G Business Building Award, and the Gold Walter Award.

Episode Highlights

The Power of Three. Thom recapped his bio be telling “a story in three chapters. I was an ad guy first. One of my client’s hired me and I went client side and I put all of that together in the third chapter at Siegel+Gale.” What is it about the power of three things? “It’s the most secure form,” Thom reminded us.

Beyond the buzzword. “I try to be very transparent about employee engagement.” While there are many definitions encompassing topics from employees under pressure to the war on talent, Thom’s work focuses exclusively on “the lens related to brands. Your people are your brand.”

What are most organizations two most valuable assets? “Their brand and their people.” How can you connect those two? “It’s not always about more employee communication — more emails, more posters.” Often it involves on-boarding and regularly bringing all team members together like Virgin Air does.

What’s the relationship between brands and corporate culture? “They are inextricably linked. The strongest brands are emotionally engaging to both their customers and their employees.” And culture often starts in the c-suite. “As leaders, everything we do leaves an imprint on our culture.”

The evolution of branding. Thom reminded us that we have shifted away from brand standards, brand police, and brand consistency to a world of brand coherence. “You can’t police everything today. Instead you need rules or principles for responding on brand.”

What brand has made Thom smile? Suitsupply. This innovative men’s clothing store has tailored an experience around engaged employees meeting very specific customer needs.

To learn more about Thom, follow him on Twitter and visit the Siegel+Gale website.

As We Wrap …

Recently our friend Alberto Downing gave us a shout on Twitter about our recent episode focused on un-branding featuring Scott Stratten. Thanks for listening Alberto!

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