Guest Post By: Cyndi Zidell
No matter what type of business you are in, your employees are your greatest assets. They humanize your company. While logos, taglines and marketing campaigns are important to your brand’s success, employees are the brand custodians that are responsible for delivering the brand promise.
To leverage your brand, creatively tap into your employees’ networks – both offline and online. It is a way to reach new markets, generate “buzz”, and put a real face on your business. In today’s world your business needs the human touch integrated with marketing your goods and services in order to succeed.
You will want to develop a healthy, supportive work environment developing enthusiastic, engaged communicators with a good work ethic. To determine Brand Ambassadors from your employee pool, you will want to directly engage them and obtain their input on such matters as: Performance of your business’ core values; customer service delivery – is your company delivering the highest level, and if not obtain their ideas for improvement; engagement of the workforce across all levels of the company or business.
Once you have identified your Brand Ambassadors consider the following areas to make the best use of their talents:
- Share the Knowledge. Find an opportunity to connect your employees with your brand. Starbucks CEO Charles Schultz states that, “The (Starbucks) merchant’s success depends on his/her ability to tell a story.”
- Build Community. Actively participating in the community in which your business is located enriches your company. Encourage your employees to volunteer and/or participate in team building community events. Collecting food or clothing for needy or displaced persons; promoting spay, neutering and pet adoptions, and fundraising for education or charitable events are some examples.
- Seize Every Opportunity to Communicate With Your Employees. Speak honestly with your employees about your business achievements as well as the opportunities and challenges your company faces. When you build a sense that your employees are important to your business, they will be more willing to work to meet your goals.
- Encourage Participation. Create a company newsletter or blog and allow employees to contribute, or offer topic suggestions. Identify employees with excellent communications skills to post on your social media sites strictly adhering to the your company’s standards for those types of communications.
A company should strive to create Brand Ambassadors from their employees no matter the size of the organization. When this is achieved, each employee will be positively marketing the company to their individual circles of influence creating larger opportunities for increased sales and profitability. When you find Brand Ambassadors within your company that have made a positive difference to your business’ performance, recognize those employees. Public recognition is an excellent way to encourage your advocates to keep up the good work and a way to inspire others to get involved.
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