It’s hard to have a business conversation these days without someone mentioning how we all need to break down silos, work cross-functionally, and obsess over our customers.

And I can’t argue: Of course, we need to do all these things.

But let’s back up for a moment. Unless your definition of “customer” includes a far broader profile than the people who buy your products or services, you’re missing the point.

To create the best brand experiences, you have to incorporate all of your stakeholders — customers, partners, distributors, vendors, and, perhaps most importantly, your employees.

The most important barriers we need to remove are the ones that keep us from thinking holistically about all of the people in our brand ecosystem.

Employee Awareness

If you think compassionately about your customers you’ll realize a simple truth: They all want the same things you want when you research or purchase products or services: clear information, easy to find answers, empathy, support.

However, this axiom is even more powerful if you view it expansively — and consider your employees as at least equal to your most important external customers.

It’s been said the most carefully crafted workplace will collapse under its own weight without the most important element: The right workforce. As one of the founders of Arke, I wholeheartedly agree.

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