Case Study: Creating an Effective Brand Orientation

Everyone knows the value of a first impression. First impressions are everything – and often, they teach us all we need or want to know about a person, team, or organization. Your organization is no different. According to recent research, more than 40% of turnover happens within a new hire’s first month on the job, and another 10% or more leave within the first year. What kind of a first impression are you giving to your new hires? How well are you preparing them for their first days and weeks on the job? In other words, what does your orientation look like?

According to Shane Green in Culture Hacker, your orientation should be “memorable, motivating, and effective in introducing new employees to the brand, culture, and business.” It should introduce the new hires to the brand, culture, values, and history of the organization, and prepare them for their performance expectations.

At SGEi, we develop orientation days that set up new team members for success by helping create an emotional connection to the brand itself. Check out this case study to learn how we helped a global luxury hospitality group create and deliver an effective orientation for a new brand in the U.S.


 In early 2017, a global luxury hospitality group was slated to open a new brand in the U.S. The brand had a strong identity and was already established in other parts of the world. However, when the brand decided to open 2 locations in the U.S., they wanted to ensure that their new hires would connect to the brand and embody the new service culture, and that their global success would be translated to these new markets. SGEi was chosen to assist in the creation of this service culture and an effective brand orientation, because we specialize in adapting training materials, including orientation programs, to be easily understood and immersive to local cultures.


Alongside the brand’s Marketing and Operations departments, the SGEi content team created an expansive brand orientation and service essentials training for new employees and managers. The orientation program was focused on making employees confident and comfortable with explaining the brand to new customers, including elements of the brand’s heritage and the philosophy behind its unique offerings. The training introduced and detailed the brand essence, teaching the new hires what the company was all about and helping them learn how to speak about the brand to others. The orientation training was interactive and engaging, designed to create a great first impression of the organization for new staff members.

Our team then created a thorough service essentials training, outlining how staff should act and interact with each other, the organization, and their customers. The trainings were paired with unique tools for reinforcement of the concepts and real immersion in the brand. Our design team created culture cards, brand posters, employee learning passports, and manager workbooks to help managers become real coaches of the new service culture.

For our two training modules, we also created detailed facilitator guides to help their team recreate the experience for new hires throughout the life of their organization.


As a result of the training, both openings were a great success for this luxury brand. Managers involved reported that the new hires during this opening felt more connected to the brand and understood the expectations of the service culture better than in previous openings. Our involvement with this client is ongoing, and we are excited to be a part of their future successes!

“Shane and his team have “cracked the code” when it comes to engaging all employees to deliver a brand promise. Their approach to brand-specific training, operating manuals, and new hire orientation goes beyond technical training. Their designs help employees emotionally connect to the brand, which allows them to deliver the desired experience to the guest every time.”
– Global Vice President of Human Resources

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