Business & Finance Advertising & sales & Marketing

Employee Brand Engagement - An Overlooked Marketing Resource

There is an underutilized, and often overlooked marketing resource in your organization right now: your employees.
Each time a customer interacts with your organization there's an opportunity to build your brand through your employees.
The experience your employees deliver to your customers will determine the ongoing perception, and reputation of the brand.
Internal brand engagement is a simple, cost-effective strategy that will help take your organization to new levels of success.
Employees who are truly engaged with a brand can create significant financial returns for their organization.
Your Employees Are Your Brand Most organizations fail to recognize the role employees' play in building a brand's reputation.
Employees interact at personal and professional levels each day with current, as well as potential customers.
Each interaction is either a positive, or a negative representation of your organization, and your brand.
Every employee (not just customer-facing) plays an important role in supporting, and building a brand.
For example, an administrative assistant might provide support to an entire product development team working on the release of a new product.
The support provided by the administrative assistant allows the product development team to focus on creating a cutting-edge product that will deliver on the brand's promise.
Most employees don't realize the effect, and the impact they have on building brand equity because they are rarely given the chance to get involved with that part of the business.
Brands are not just the responsibility of marketing departments; the responsibly and accountability of building and supporting a brand should integrated throughout every part of an organization.
Build A Brand-Centric Organization So how do you go about building a brand-centric organization? Create a "brand academy" or a similar type of group that has the responsibility to ensure that every employee receives initial, as well as ongoing education as your brand evolves and grows over time.
The brand should be linked to job descriptions, training programs, meetings and events.
Anyone who represents your organization should be required to participate in some type of brand education program.
Employees should read, see, feel, or hear something each day that represents your brand's values, goals, and promise that will help to keep their connection, and their shared responsibility to be an owner, and ambassador.
Immersion is key to creating a brand-centric culture.
Brand education helps employees understand and connect with your organization's vision and goals.
When employees understand and connect to a brand's goals, personality, and promise, they become brand ambassadors.
Ambassadors help build your brand each day through their work and interactions.
Your employees become a major part of your marketing resources by delivering relevant brand-centric experiences (internal and external) that help to build brand equity, and customer loyalty.
How To Develop Brand Ambassadors There are several steps you can take to begin building a team of ambassadors: 1.
Develop an awareness / education program
Brand engagement does not magically happen, and it's more than handing out "logo swag.
" An effective education program goes into detail about the brand's positioning statement, values, goals and personality with emphasis on the benefit/promise.
Employees can't deliver on the brand's promise if they don't know what it is, and how to deliver it through their work each day.
The training program should include tangible examples of how each employee group helps to deliver on the brand's promise, and how their work contributes to the brand's success.
Again, each employee plays an important role in either providing direct support to a customer-facing team, or they are in contact with customers each day.
For customer-facing teams it's critical to define the desired customer experience, and design the customer experience around the brand.
The brand makes the promise, and the customer experience delivers the promise.
A well-designed customer experience always supports, and delivers the brand's promise in each customer interaction.
2.
Create a Brand-Centric Employee Experience
You should deliver your brand promise to your employees as well.
The employee experience will have a direct affect on your customers' experience, and should be directly connected to your employee experience strategy for continuity, and consistency.
Designing and delivering an on-brand employee experience is an effective strategy to help build morale and motivation, as well as improve employee retention.
The Result Your employees will work with a renewed sense of purpose and meaning, and the result is a more vibrant, educated, and motivated workforce that will bring positive results to your bottom line.
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