Organizations invest a lot of time and capital into building their brands, but in the process often pay little attention to the best brand builders of all: their employees. By tapping into this amazing resource, companies can unleash an army of brand ambassadors that favorably influences the way the organization is viewed by customers, prospects, industry colleagues and the local community. We believe that every employee has the potential to become a powerful brand champion—and every company can enjoy the benefits— if the right structures are in place.
Engaged employees are natural brand ambassadors. They “delight” in their work and their workplace, they feel supported, and they’ll go the extra mile. So the starting point for turning your own employees into brand ambassadors is a solid employee engagement program driven by purposeful design along with meaningful rewards and recognition.
The underpinning of engagement is a strong company culture. When employees understand what an organization stands for—its values—and they are encouraged to demonstrate those values, the result is a cohesive organizational culture. Organizations that have built a positive culture make it easy for employees to become brand champions.
Communication is critical to transforming employees into ambassadors. Communications regarding organizational values and goals, employee and customer success stories, and decisions affecting employee’s lives in the workplace must be transparent, timely, and pushed out through multiple channels. Communication is also bi-directional. Inviting input from employees means they are part of the process, part of the ethos, and part of the company. In total, effective communications ensures that brand ambassadors are true advocates - informed and engaged.
Give your employees the tools and information they need to be your advocates by taking a page from marketers. For example, the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) suggests giving your employees success stories to share. You can repurpose your case studies that show how your organization helped its customers achieve their goals to share with potential hires.
CMI also suggests integrating customer success stories into the company culture by creating a “customer success” photo album that employees can page through. Organizations that have internal video screens can run quotes from happy customers on those screens.
Social media can be a powerful brand-building tool when used strategically. You can use it to showcase team-building activities, highlight customer success stories, or talk about how your organization or even individual employees have contributed to the community.
Look at ways your thought leaders can contribute to industry conversations. For example, by following and commenting on industry posts in LinkedIn, your thought leaders are raising your brand’s visibility.
We recommend having clear social media guidelines in place and designating a team to handle social media posts and to monitor and respond to conversations on other sites
We believe that every single employee has the potential to be a great brand ambassador. It is absolutely the one thing that no other company in the world has—your people. Your people make your business personal and real—authentic and trustworthy. Nothing else can represent the full scope of your culture, products, services and purpose like your people.
Are you ready to see how you can turn your workforce into a team of brand ambassadors? Contact a Marketing Innovators solutions expert today and we’ll help you get started.