If you have a strong brand, you can extend your offering with ease, survive and even thrive during economic downturns, gain leverage in partnerships, and attract the most talented people to work for you. The benefits of a strong brand are well documented and successful leaders appreciate that the best brands are not built by the marketing team alone. Each and every employee across the business has a role to play.
Trust your team
So, if you are not inspiring your talent to be brand ambassadors, you are not maximising the potential of your brand. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer “Employees rank higher in public trust than a firm’s PR department, CEO, or Founder. 41% of us believe that employees are the most credible source of information regarding their business.” When a customer interacts with one of your frontline employees, or with the work produced by your behind-the-scenes employees, everything your PR and marketing departments have done will be put to the test.
As IBM has acknowledged whilst you cannot control what your employees say, you can trust your employees. We have collected some of the best tips for turning your staff into brand ambassadors:
Be real with your internal messaging
Be honest about the brand and acknowledge where improvements are needed. Staff have intimate knowledge of your brand and can often help in identifying any weaknesses.
Listen to what your staff say
Remember that your staff are on the frontline and may hear feedback which does not reach beyond the customer interface. Value their perspective and intelligence gathering abilities.
Provide context in employee communications
Help them understand the bigger picture by explaining what else in happening in your market and outline the position the company is in.
Spend time in their environment
A few hours working on the frontline is an invaluable way to gain insights into any business. Get involved and be prepared to muck in. This will help you appreciate their viewpoint and the constraints they work within.
Give appropriate recognition and credit
Ensure that employees who have embraced the ambassadorial role are recognised and give credit in way which all employees can understand. A few good examples will help to generate a sense of momentum which can be amplified across the whole business.