15 March 2016

How to make engaged employees your brand ambassadors

If there’s one thing you can to do to truly get ahead of your competitors, its using employee brand advocacy to your advantage. Need help making your employees your very own brand ambassadors? Read on...
 


There’s a reason why big brands are able to charge so much more for their services whereas smaller companies are slightly less ambitious. People believe in a brand and they come to expect a lot from it.  More often than not, this is largely down to the people that work there. To build a successful corporate brand, you need brand ambassadors. 

Internal brand engagement has been found to improve staff motivation by 94%*, according to a recent study. Employees that truly believe in their company’s values and objectives are more likely to have higher rates of retention and lower rates of absenteeism than those staff that are unengaged.  Plus, staff that are engaged with the brand they work for are 43%** more productive than other staff.

And this positive relationship between brand engagement and motivated staff works both ways; if there’s one thing you can to do to truly get ahead of your competitors, its using employee brand advocacy to your advantage. The power of employees who are truly engaged as brand advocators is something difficult for competitors to replicate and should not be underestimated.

Yet, it seems that so many organisations are underestimating this competitive edge. Whilst they spend increasing amounts of money on brand promotion, employee communication is often overlooked. This works on the assumption that their staff must be engaged with the businesses’ vision and brand values simply because they work there; an attitude that is actually detrimental to business success.  

Unfortunately for them, many leaders aren’t recognising the need to invest in engaging their teams in the same way they do potential customers.  They spend the majority of their budget on advertising, branding and campaigning without thinking about one of their other most valuable assets- their employees.

What they don’t realise is these engaged employees are substantially more effective and act as the most vocal and dedicated brand ambassadors. Your business is only as good as its people so it’s absolutely crucial that you build a strong workforce of employees that live and breathe your brand and its organisational goals and values. The power of employees who are truly engaged as brand advocators is something difficult for competitors to replicate and should not be underestimated

Need some help making your employees your very own brand ambassador? Here’s a few crucial things to bear in mind:

Start with leadership

If an organization’s senior leadership team lives and breathes the brand, employees are much more likely to embrace it as well. Therefore it’s crucial that an organization's CEO leads by example and always acts as an advocate on behalf of the brand. The comms team can help their executive leadership by encouraging them to constantly communicate about the brand and share examples of how they bring the brand to life. 

Give employees the information they need to make brand awareness a priority

One of the first and most important things your employee should know about is what their company stands for what and what makes their brand different from competitors. Your staff can’t become brand advocates if they don’t understand the brand so it’s important to communicate this clearly and make it part of your learning and development strategy.

Promote self-discovery

When your employees can be themselves and have room to work to their best potential their work productivity and retention increases. The first step to improving brand engagement through staff motivation is to focus on an individual’s personal, not corporate identity. Helping your employees to unearth their greatest strengths and start integrating them into everything they do is essential to their success and the success of the brand.

Bring personal and corporate together

It’s often a common misconception that the personal and corporate brand must compete with one another but this couldn’t actually be further from the truth. Successful companies help employees understand their personal brands and integrate these individual traits with the broader corporate objectives to their advantage. The key thing to bear in mind is that this strategy should work on the premise of personal plus corporate, not personal vs. corporate. Staff that know who they are and what they are good at plus, understand and are engaged with the company brand objectives, can easily apply their skills and expertise to activate the corporate goals.

 

Get feedback from employees

Keeping a pulse on brand awareness throughout your organisation is key. Hold regular feedback sessions or focus groups to explore your employee’s understanding of the brand and their engagement with the organisation as a whole. These will help you to identify parts of your company brand that are the most important or meaningful to employees and those that might need changing and updating.

Recognise your brand ambassadors

Shining the spotlight on those engaged employees who are actively bringing your brand to life encourages them to keep up the good work and inspire others to get involved. Celebrate employee success during meetings and in emails. Another a great way to do this is by featuring your key brand ambassadors in your company newsletter or on the intranet.

Sources:

*http://www.hrgrapevine.com/markets/hr/article/2015-10-01-brand-engagement-can-improve-staff-motivation-by-94

**https://www.sweettoothrewards.com/blog/employee-engagement-leads-customer-loyalty/

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