7 ways to ensure employees become brand ambassadors
7 ways to ensure employees become brand ambassadors
When it comes to building and maintaining your brand, you want your employees to become brand ambassadors. All of your employees, (and not just those whose job involves marketing),can be your biggest cheerleaders…. From the shop floor to the boardroom, each and every one of your employees are potential brand ambassadors in the way they do their jobs, their enthusiasm, and their knowledge of how the business works. Here are some tips for turning employees into brand ambassadors, turning them into advocates for your company.
1.Create a powerful and well defined “brand essence”
If your brand essence isn’t well defined, then it’s difficult for employees to own it and promote it.
Employees need to be clear on:
- Your brand goals
- How they differ from the competition
- Company values
- How the organisation works
- The essence of the brand , why it’s important and what it means.
Making sure your employees to become brand ambassadors means that understanding the essence of the brand be part of their induction and training. It also helps to run regular refresher sessions on your brand essence…(and not just for the marketing team). Creating an employee advocacy programme allows you to get employees excited about the brand, and help them raise awareness through social media and recommendations.
2. Share feedback
The fact is that in many organizations, bosses simply don’t know what goes on in their company on a day to day basis. The further up the corporate ladder, the less likely it is they’ll hear about the things that don’t work. If you’re implementing a brand essence strategy, then make sure your employees become your eyes and ears when it comes to gathering customer feedback. Knowing that senior management is listening to them will help your employees feel more engaged in general.
Feedback from customer-facing staff is also an important part of a marketing strategy. These are the people who hear unfiltered opinions from customers all day, and give you much more valuable insight than any market research panel could.
3. Offer incentives
Brand ambassadors are compensated for promoting brands, and if you expect employees to do the same, then offering some form of incentive will go a long way. Consider using a promotional products company to create branded merchandise as giveaways for employees at their induction, or even gifts that they can distribute to friends and family.
Social media is one of the biggest platforms for brand ambassadors, and if you want your employees to use their personal social media platforms to promote your brand, then it’s important to offer something in return. If you’re using a branding agency, they may suggest giving free products to employees, from clothes to coffee, which they can then shout about on social media.
4. Use branded clothing
Whether it’s a uniform to wear on the shop floor, or a hoodie they can wear out for a run, branded clothing is an inexpensive way to get your logo out there. An important part of branding is brand recognition, and having employees proudly wear your logo is a way for it to get into people’s consciousness. You will need to avoid the “cringieness” factor so make sure to select promotional items that are subtle and understated so that employees will want to wear them outside of the workplace.
5. Encourage individuality
In the past, the marketing approach was to turn employees into a ‘type’, modern businesses appreciate that employees should have their own personalities. Making sure your employees to become brand ambassadors means encouraging your employees to build their personal brand which in turn increases their satisfaction and is more likely to turn them into brand ambassadors.
Some ways you can do this include:
- Encouraging employees to undertake career development programmes
- Allow them to take on projects that they can be proud of
- Find out what unique skills they can bring to the company
- Encourage honesty and open communication
Showing appreciation for colleagues and the contributions they make ensures employees feel satisfied at work. Respecting their individuality helps keep employees happy and engaged, making them more likely to become your brand’s champions. This approach has worked for many of the companies that we typically associate with happy employees.
6. Encourage collaboration
In order for employees to become brand ambassadors and willingly promote your brand, they need to know what’s going on outside of their own department. Effective collaboration strategies can help them gain a deeper understanding. Too many companies have departments that are insular and isolated from one another. Whether it’s marketing, sales, operations or finance your employees as a group could gain so much knowledge just from networking and chatting to each other. Whether it’s regular meetings where employees can present updates, away days, or company parties, bringing people out of their team and improving communication between departments can do so much to make employees feel part of your brand.
There are also a variety of skills which can be shared between departments. For example, people in Procurement know how to negotiate the best deal, and they might be able to teach your sales team some of these skills. Those who work in marketing are often good at networking, which can a good thing to teach other departments. Encouraging collaboration gives your employees the skills to become brand ambassadors, as well as others that can become useful.
7. Share updates
Employees shouldn’t have to wait for press releases or social media posts to know what’s going on with your company. If you want to create brand ambassadors, they need to be at the cutting edge of what’s going on in the business. This means everyone from the boardroom to the office needs to be kept informed.
Internal communications should be a big part of your company, whether it’s an internal website, Facebook page or regular keep in touch e-mails. If you are changing to a new branding agency, planning a new advertising campaign, launching a new packaging design or taking a new product to market, keep employees in the loop. Give them a sneak preview of your launch, or let them test drive your new product so you can build buzz. When it comes to building hype , having your employees on-side as brand ambassadors using their own social media platforms to promote your new product etc. can really get the momentum ball rolling.
Whilst you can hire celebrities or social media superstars to promote your brand, your real brand ambassadors can be found in your offices and stores, simply doing their jobs day to day. By taking a few steps, you can turn these staff members into ambassadors for your brand. Your own employees who have bought into your brand essence will champion your business not only to friends and family, but also through social media and other networks.
The above 7 strategies will not only increase employee engagement but also unlock the hidden marketing potential right inside your four walls.
Guest post author: Gary Maserow – Monograma have provided promotional products and services to their customers since 1988. With over 29 years experience in the promotional products industry the Australian owned business service clients of all sizes. Trusted by local clubs, tradesmen & large multi-nationals, Monograma deliver promotional & corporate products across Australia.