Of the corporate culture and the brand delivery

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of the corporate culture and the brand delivery standards. Formal and informal communication methods are used. Formal methods include employee handbooks, operations manuals, and monthly team meetings, for example, by Beauty Salon . Informal communication is through face- to-face interactions between line managers and employees. To ensure consistent brand delivery, a range of formal and informal monitoring methods is used. Formal monitoring methods include weekly management visits, performance appraisals, and mystery shoppers, such as by Beauty Salon and informal monitoring methods include on-the-job supervision by line managers, such as by Restaurant and Outdoor Education . Although receiving less emphasis, brand ena- bling is implemented, which involves targeted recruitment and selection processes, to get the right employees on the corporate bus (Collins 2001), comprehensive staged training, to equip employees with the competencies to deliver the brand, and targeted incentives, to reinforce employees’ on-brand behavior. Incentives include bonuses for employees who achieve high customer satisfaction ratings in Beauty Salon and share ownership to reward long serv- ice in Restaurant . The performance of the SME brand is assessed through a combination of financial and nonfinan- cial market-based criteria. Financial criteria include sales and profit, while the nonfinancial ones include customer satisfaction, customer retention and capacity utilization, such as of sal- ons in Beauty Salon , restaurants in Restaurant and training camps in Outdoor Education . Internal and external feedback is gathered formally and informally. Formal internal feed- back is sought through management-staff meet- ings, such as in Beauty Salon and Restaurant and informal feedback through on-the-job inter- actions between employees and line managers. Formal and informal methods are also used to gather external. Formal means include deploy- ing mystery shoppers by Beauty Salon and requesting feedback after each training program from school teachers, students, and parents by Outdoor Education . Customer complaints are also encouraged and treated as feedback by Beauty Salon and Restaurant . Informal conver- sations with customers are used to gather exter- nal feedback, such as by the owner–manager of Restaurant who actively engages restaurant patrons to assess their satisfaction with the din- ing experience. Operations-Driven Type Although the primary brand positioning focus is internal, it is best viewed as tactical or operational, where emphasis of owner–manag- ers is on managing the day-to-day operations, to provide customers with quality products. Although there is an obsession with providing customers with quality products, customer- orientation is nevertheless relatively low, since JOURNAL OF SMALL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT 10
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products are as conceived by owner–managers, on a take-it or leave-it basis, without customer feedback. Little strategic importance is placed on employees, except when their skills are in short supply, such as machinists in Swimwear
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