A lot of companies are under the impression that “brand” is just an external promise which is completely irrelevant to the company culture, process flow, and the company’s mission. They are obviously mistaken.
The United Airlines debacle is the most perfect example of what happens when a company makes grand promises as far as customer services go and do not have their internal policies in alignment with their promises. The backlash from the customers could tarnish the company’s reputation which may be extremely costly to rebuild. Organizations could avoid this problem by laying more emphasis on a direct link between the brand and the company culture by ensuring that employees are actually serious and sincere about company values and promises. Most people tend to believe that brand strategy point to having slick ads and glamorous videos.
Employees are the most important assets when it comes to branding
Employees that communicate with customers serve as brand ambassadors via the products that they are creating, the services they are offering and the interactions between them and their customers. If a company builds its brand on phrases like “cutting-edge solutions” or “great customer service”, it’s internal process flow must be congruent to these claims to convey that the company actually has some substance.
If your employees are not congruent with your brand values, your company cannot communicate effectively with your customers. As you can see, employees are an extremely critical asset when it comes to the branding of a company.
- Articulate and convey the brand promise
What’s the company’s long-term vision? Who is the target market? What kind of value is the company offering to its customers? Make sure that these aspects of your organization be shared with everyone right from new recruits to experienced executives. It’s not possible for employees to connect with something that they cannot envision.
It’s alright for your brand’s mission, values and vision to be grounded in reality, yet be very aspirational. – Rebecca Rodskog, co-founder of FutureLeaderNow. After all, who doesn’t like a challenge? One great question to ask yourself is – “Does this statement perfectly describe who we are?”. It’s great to aim high but it’s important to realize that you must walk it as you talk it. If you say you’re innovative but haven’t had a product in years, it’s an empty claim which your customers will likely see through. Growth is great but if you’re not alert enough, your company will likely forget its roots.
- Encourage employees to share when they’re excited about something
Social media advocacy tools are among the best types of employee advocacy tools. Motivate your employees to share links like job openings or upcoming products. The content to be posted should be engaging too, such as a food truck. The more engaged your employees, the more their engagement with their social networks.
- Use of tools to facilitate sharing
Implementing an employee advocacy tool that has sharing content as its main functionality and gauge results have been a huge success. The main goal here is to make it simple to use and remind everyone of their role as employee advocates.
- Employee Testimonials
Let employees have the freedom to narrate their experiences about their relationship with your company. Not only is their content credible and complete but it also cites real-life experiences as opposed to marketing messages giving it a more authentic feel.
- Incentivize the process
Contests for employees such as making a video about “what you like the most about the company”, offering rewards for employees that deliver, soliciting ideas for content and blogging regularly all give a competitive edge which adding some excitement making the whole process a lot more interesting.
- Fun memories are worth sharing
Employees are more likely to share memories that are fun like lunch outings, barbecues, and picnics as opposed to boring mundane company activities. Forbes provided its employees with vintage tees and hats that showcased the brand.
- More the merrier
If you’re sharing your content with just your social media champions but not the rest of your employees, you may want to consider the latter. With this one measure, you will be empowering your entire workforce to be your brand ambassadors. You could also encourage them to engage in conversations with people showing interest and willing to talk about the company.