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Building Brand Power using Existing Employees
Barbara Crouse

Most companies today want a competitive edge on marketing their unique products and services while building their brand power. We invest in every sort of marketing ploy while not fully utilizing the power of our existing employees as Brand Ambassadors. Our employees are our greatest asset, with the right approach backed by the necessary resources those same employees can become effective and engaged Brand Ambassadors.

Brand Ambassadors sell our company without even knowing they are doing it. But perhaps that’s why it has become such a successful marketing tool. They promote the company in the modern marketplace of social media as well as the more traditional markets just as seamlessly. But perhaps it is just as important that Brand Ambassadors sell not just our goods and services, but our company culture as well. You can’t buy ‘cool’, but our Brand Ambassadors can bring that with them to work every day.

Tools and resources

Brand promotion and optimal marketing strategies can be effective while using existing employees if these folks are given the proper tools and resources for success. To do this each employee needs to be aware of the goals of the branding exercises, they need to feel empowered to represent the brand, and they need to be fully engaged in every step of the process so that they feel they are investing in their work.

Building a culture of brand promotion in the workplace will provide greater dividends than making social media sharing a box to check during the workday. Often times using Brand Ambassadors on social media simply to share and re-post content produces little results. However, since employees are the daily communicators of your brand they need to be given the inspiration, preparation, and resources to realize your branding goals and to meet the promise of satisfaction that comes with your brand.

Why is it important

In today’s marketplace, a brand with a purpose is considered valuable to consumers. Research shows us that globally 75% of consumers expect brands to contribute to their quality of life and well-being, and 71% of millennials indicate that they want brands that contribute to environmental sustainability and fosters social change. This tell us that branding matters when done in concert with Brand Ambassadors who understand these value concepts.

Engaged brands are equally important to employees as they are to consumers. A study out of the Harvard Business Journal concluded that 89% of management executives believe that a sense of purpose promotes employee satisfaction, 84% indicated it can affect a company’s ability to transform and 80% agreed it helps augment customer loyalty.

Speaking the language

Meaningful communication strategies are essential to all aspects of business life. Never is communication more important than while promoting your brand. Therefore, allowing for open and honest dialogue with your Brand Ambassadors to ensure everyone is on the same page and they bring life to your vision.

You can begin with the savvy social media players you already have on your staff. Then make it easy and simple for other employees to participate by selecting relevant content and motivating their desire to be part of the team. Leading by example is a model that everyone can get behind.

Stressing the importance of personal branding will empower employees to make their own decisions. You will soon see that personal incentive is the best way to commence brand advocacy, and not through offering monetary or other rewards. Employee engagement will then be about the empowerment of your staff to be the very best professional versions of themselves. Providing the tools for your Brand Ambassadors to become industry-specific influencers has the ability to augment their careers, which also benefits the business since they personally and digitally hold the keys to your brand’s success.

Make it simple

Simplifying the process for sharing content will make it easier for your Brand Ambassadors. Selecting content which is relevant to your brand such as provocative memes, articles, videos, blogs, vlogs, opinion pieces and the latest news in your industry will spark the interest of your communicators. You can then encourage employees to personally comment on the content to gage their viewpoints and contribute to dialogue about your organization and brand.

Brand marketing will depend on more than perks alone. That being said, incentives such as draws for prizes or other interesting rewards will sometimes be beneficial. Along with already empowering your staff, these gifts for a job well-done will be icing on the cake for any eager Brand Ambassador. Make the contests or giveaways interesting and most importantly fun for the whole company.

Making it work

Providing the necessary resources for social media sharing instead of a system of rigid rules will increase success. Remember you want to trust your employees to add their unique twist on your content. As an example, producing weekly emails or newsletters highlighting the vision behind the content will keep staff motivated and informed. These updates can include information about your products and services, new product launches, marketing information and so on. You want your employees to be as intimate with your brand as you are

While most employees will have basic social media skills, even in our modern era it is beneficial to provide training sessions to augment their marketing skills and abilities. A useful example might be to hold monthly Brand Ambassador meetings where you share information and accept suggestions on everything from branding to where your customer-communities exist while encouraging active engagement and participation in these digital communities.

Train for success

It’s hard to believe that an employee might not be social-media-ready in this day and age, but all the same, it can help to have training sessions to boost their marketing skills if their work doesn’t directly relate to it. For instance, you might hold a monthly social media workshop where you highlight communities where your customers hang out and encourage employees to participate.

Content production by your Brand Ambassadors is a valuable tool with multiple advantages. Chiefly, it allows employees to take ownership and feel confident exploring their ideas, seeing those ideas materialize, and sharing their expertise with the world.

Get everybody on board

Involving all employees, especially the disengaged and disgruntled ones, will lead to success. Disenchanted employees lead to low morale in the work environment, even affecting your most engaged team members. This reduces productivity in all areas.

There is good news! Having these employees become Brand Ambassadors can have the effect of bringing them back into the fold. By empowering them through your efforts at brand recognition and promotion you make them feel a part of the team again while giving them valuable skills to remain committed to your vision. A richer understanding of individual needs and modernized workforce policies will aid all parties. Raising levels of engagement and getting employees excited about your brand will have a positive ripple effect throughout your organization.

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