Tips to get brand ambassadors. All marketing professionals advocate the importance of building a community of brand ambassadors. Why not? They’re individuals who feel passionate about your brand. They give you invaluable input on improving your products and services. And, more importantly, they create free publicity for your company by positively and proactively communicating about your brand to their networks.
Employer branding professionals have often pointed out that employees are ultimately consumers/clients/customers of your brand. If they feel passionate about your company and its products and services, they’ll willingly sell and even consume what you offer to the market place.
However, the reverse scenario is also highly possible, whereby a company has brand opponents, disgruntled employees who feel dispassionate about the brand and its products & services. Think of it this way: if you can’t turn your own employees into loyal customers, how can it be possible to gain loyal buyers from the outside.
Ekaterina Walter’s article in Forbes entitled, “Want To Find Brand Ambassadors? Start With Your Employees”, couldn’t be more relevant for doing business. She refers to a 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer that concluded, not surprisingly, that employees have more credibility than executives. Being the case, companies should really get their employees to be the spokespeople and brand representatives.
Walter refers to two companies, with exceptional corporate cultures, that excel in creating brand ambassadors – Zappos and Starbucks. These organisations are perhaps best practice examples of companies building truly unique employer cultures, with remarkably strong corporate values that their employees live by and embrace.
The benefits of having brand ambassadors are many, but to name a few of them concretely based on Walter’s reflections, the community will help you increase and improve:
• Brand awareness
• Search engine optimisation
• Online feedback to customers on frequently asked questions
• Talent attraction
• Employee generated content & engagement with external audiences
Sounds appealing? Well, then the next logical question is – “How is this done?”
Walter lays out a simple action plan. In a nutshell, she recommends that companies encourage their employees to:
• Use social media
• Strengthen customer relations
• Provide feedback on how to improve customer relations and products/services
• Feel well
In conclusion, successful companies are the ones that are able to capitalize on their employees, converting them into brand ambassadors who are more successful to engender credibility and trust for consumers. It’s a process that supports working from the inside out to achieve business growth. Employers – focus on your employees!
Walter, Ekaterina (2013). Want To Find Brand Ambassadors? Start With Your Employees. Forbes. [Online] Available from: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ekaterinawalter/2013/10/15/want-to-find-brand-ambassadors-start-with-your-employees-2/#! [Accessed: 18 October 2013].