At a time when many companies consider brand-building priceless, many companies and CEOs are neglecting to utilize the brand-building power of their employees. By neglecting the employees, we are missing out on one of the biggest opportunities to not only build, but strengthen our brands.
Employees are key to a company’s reputation, sales, and success. A lot of potential consumers, clients, etc. look to a company’s employees as a credible source of information regarding the organization. In fact, according to the 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer, employees rank higher in public trust than the firm’s Founder, CEO, and PR departments.
What does this mean for management? It means CEOs and managers should consider the age old adage, “You work for the people that work for you.” If your employees are happy, they will naturally become champions for your brand and as a result, your company will grow. Make sure you foster their feelings of contentment and self-worth.
More than ever, people compare and share product experiences. In today’s digitally connected world, your brand reputation becomes heavily influenced by what your customers and your employees are saying. What your employees tell their friends and families is considered credible. The disgruntled rants of an unhappy employee could potentially be more damaging to your brand than the negative rants of what consumers may be saying.
In addition to reputation, you should also consider employee engagement. Employee engagement promotes customer engagement. If a company invests in training their employees to engage smartly with stakeholders, a brand can naturally become more connected and alluring.
If you’re struggling with the “how” in terms of making your employees brand ambassadors, consider these few tips:
- Gather company-wide feedback on company policies, practices, and how your team views the brand. Take this feedback seriously. Doing so shows your employees they are appreciated and their opinions matter.
- Don’t promise what you can’t deliver. Treat your employees as your would your potential consumers.
- Create an atmosphere of camaraderie and trust. This will help your leaders to be “multipliers” in terms of attitude and intelligence.
- Launch program supporting employees in becoming authentic brand-champions and thus increasing positive consumer perception
In supporting your employees as brand ambassadors, employees are excited to share news about your organization. No longer is just where they work, but it becomes “MY” company to them. Happy brand ambassadors fosters deeper trust and excitement around a brand (e.g. Apple). Not to mention, employee ambassadors generally feel more engaged. Engaged employees lead to higher performing, more excited champions for your brand.
An organization with a positive and happy staff not only helps to strengthen the brand, but helps you to retain top talent as well. If your employees feel they are able to learn and grow within the company, they feel more empowered and loyal. Thus, they are less likely to leave for positions offered by your competitors
Treating your employees with dignity and respect goes without saying. But step it up a notch. Make them feel important, empowered; make them feel like a stake holder and a champion of your brand. They will naturally sell it to friends and family, who will pass along good sentiments to their friends. Your reputation will shine, your employees will perform, and your consumers will trust your business. MAKE YOUR EMPLOYEES PROUD and they will deliver.
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