Your Brand Ambassadors Are the People You’re Hiring
Every successful company aspires to create a strong brand. And part of building a brand is creating a workforce full of brand ambassadors.
Not only does a strong brand correlate with the obvious benefits of increased sales volume and allowance for premium pricing, it can also have an amazing effect on your applicant pool. When it comes to hiring, top candidates are far more likely to respond to a company with a well-known brand than an unknown competitor. But aside from standard marketing efforts, how does your brand get presented to the world? Simple: Your employees are your brand ambassadors.
The truth is, the people you hire will be the window into the world of your business. In fact, according to the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, 76 percent of survey respondents in the United States feel that employees are more believable than CEOs. Your goal, therefore, should be to create a company full of brand ambassadors.
A brand ambassador is an employee who is thoroughly engaged, connected and committed to your company’s brand. Your ability to create a strong brand hinges on your employees’ connection to the corporate brand – and their understanding of their role in making brand objectives come to fruition.
Educate Your Employees to be Brand Ambassadors
When it comes to connecting employees to brand, the first step is education. Employees need to know what your company and business stand for. A lot can change from the time they on-board, so it’s good to refresh them as well as update them with new information about the company. Provide basic marketing training to all employees and keep them abreast of current campaigns to become better ambassadors. After all, if you don’t inform your employees about your branding efforts, how can they deliver on your promises?
In a Gallup survey of 3,000 randomly selected workers, people were asked to assess their agreement with the following statement: “I know what my company stands for and what makes our brand(s) different from our competitors.” Only 41% of employees strongly agreed with this statement, meaning the majority of those surveyed were not fully aware of their company’s brand positioning.
To promote awareness, you should take every opportunity to share knowledge with your employees to establish a connection between them and your brand. Teaching employees to be presenters of your brand will help them position themselves as thought leaders. A good place to start is by creating a company intranet, wiki page, e-newsletter or blog to facilitate shared learning and interdepartmental relationships. Make brand awareness a priority and make sharing that awareness easy to do – both internally and externally.
Keep Them Engaged
As defined by Scarlett Surveys International, Employee Engagement is “a measurable degree of an employee’s positive or negative emotional attachment to their job, colleagues and organization that profoundly influences their willingness to learn and perform at work.”
In the report “The Drivers of Employee Engagement,” by Dilys Robinson, Sarah Perryman and Sue Hayday, it is said that employees are motivated by intrinsic factors like personal growth, working for a common purpose and being part of a larger process, rather than simply extrinsic factors such as pay and benefits.
One easy and effective way to build engagement is to offer employees new challenges and opportunities. Look outside of day-to-day tasks and align their talents, skills and passions to create unique projects that allow them to showcase what they already know and learn new skills that will make them better advocates.
Another way to engage employees within your company is to get involved in the community. Offer incentives for employees to participate in volunteerism and team building events. This will give them the personal satisfaction of giving back – as well as a feeling of goodwill toward the company for supplying them with the opportunity to do so. Provide them with swag such as company T-shirts, hats or stickers to wear as they participate. They will enjoy the freebies and leave a good impression about your company in the process.
Encourage Social Sharing
It is clear why engaged employees build stronger brands. Someone with a positive connection to their organization will exude a positive perspective. And sharing those perspectives is easier than ever. With the majority of employees active on social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, all it takes is a Google search to connect them to your company. Social media provides an instant outlet for employees to create a buzz about your business online, and it’s your job to ensure that buzz is a positive one.
Make sure employees have proper training to represent your brand online. Create easy-to-follow rules for your social media policy that encourage sharing. Give them access to approved materials to post on various social websites – it will get them excited about the brand and it’s free advertising for you!
Continue to encourage sharing by rewarding those employees who do so. Brand ambassadors who successfully represent the company brand add a big value to your business. It is important to recognize their efforts – and to continue to motivate them with positive feedback and rewards.
Whether you intend for your employees to be the face of your brand or not, they are. By providing them with the proper education, engagement and tools, you can make them positive brand ambassadors. Taking the time to make these improvements will make for a happier workforce and a more profitable future.
Want to learn more about improving Employee Engagement? Check out our blog, The Top 5 Ways to Improve Employee Retention.