Creating a strong brand presence requires more than just traditional and digital marketing efforts. To truly succeed in today’s competitive market, companies in today’s quickly evolving landscape full of new tools, technologies, and expanding social platforms are understanding the importance of a strong company culture and employee enthusiasm to help create employee brand champions.
Why? Well, there are a few reasons.
Employees who are aligned with your cultural values can harness the power of free social media platforms, provide positive customer service, and organically spread a company’s brand message, all the while elevating the employee’s connection with the company and bringing it to a higher level.
Here’s the thing. Research shows that when employees feel connected to the brand, and are empowered to represent it, they become valuable assets in building brand loyalty and driving business growth. Furthermore, employees who value the company and its values can pass those values to each customer through their daily interactions.
In an effort to provide a look toward the future, one that should include turning and enthusiastic and dedicated team into authentic brand cheerleaders, here are six items to consider to optimize employee participation in brand elevation.
1) Hire employees with aligned corporate values.
The foundation of a strong brand lies in its values. When hiring new team members, it is crucial to prioritize candidates who align with the company’s core beliefs. Hiring for values ensures that employees share the same principles and philosophy as the brand they will represent. For example, I work for a company that values teamwork, integrity, collaboration, service – to name a few. There are 12 key core values that shape the essence of our business to the core. By hiring individuals who are passionate about working together and giving back, the company has fostered a workforce that genuinely cares about the brand’s mission, leading to more authentic brand representation, excellent customer service, and workplace recognitions. In a somewhat commoditized industry, having that focused sense of knowing what your mission represents helps support the practices which differentiate the business from its peers.
2) Align and Communicate.
Alignment and communication are the critical lifeblood for empowering employees and motivating them to become brand champions. Employees need to understand and embrace the brand’s vision, mission, and goals so they can confidently spread the message. Research shows that employees who have a clear understanding of a company’s vision and feel comfortable expressing their ideas and concerns, create greater satisfaction. This positive approach promotes a sense of autonomy and pride in working for the company, which natural
fuels and empowers employees to actively contribute to the brand’s success. Consistent communication strengthens the team’s connection to the brand and enhances their ability to represent it effectively.
3) Educate Your Team on Brand Importance – Show Them Results.
Many employees may not fully grasp the impact their role has on the brand’s success. Educating them about the importance of their contributions is crucial for building a team of brand champions. Share success stories, customer testimonials, and other relevant data that highlight the positive outcomes directly attributed to the team’s efforts. By sharing these testimonials and emphasizing the connection between their work and positive brand perception, employees gain a deeper understanding of their significance as brand ambassadors.
4) Encourage Excellent Service and Brand Championing Internally and Externally.
Delivering excellent service internally and externally is a powerful way to strengthen the brand. Encourage employees to provide exceptional service not only to customers, but also to their colleagues within the organization. Foster a culture of collaboration, respect, and support, which will reflect positively on the brand’s reputation. Moreover, empower employees to champion the brand in their personal lives by giving them the freedom to share their positive experiences and recommendations with friends, family, and social media networks. By doing so, employees become authentic advocates for the brand, amplifying its reach and influence.
5) Provide Tools to Be Brand Ambassadors.
Equipping employees with the necessary tools and resources is essential for their success as brand ambassadors. This includes providing comprehensive brand guidelines, training programs, and access to relevant marketing materials. For example, a restaurant chain might develop a detailed brand manual that outlines the company’s visual identity, tone of voice, and customer service standards. By offering such resources, employees gain a deeper understanding of the brand’s essence, understand the importance of protecting the brand, and feel more confident in representing it consistently across all touchpoints.
6) Reward Employee Support.
Recognizing and rewarding employees for their support and contributions as brand champions is vital for maintaining motivation and engagement. Verbal acknowledgment and appreciation go a long way in reinforcing positive contribution. By valuing and appreciating their efforts, employees will feel a strong sense of pride and loyalty towards the brand, further fueling their commitment to being brand ambassadors.
Transforming employees into brand champions is a powerful strategy for strengthening brand loyalty and driving business growth. By doing so, these special champions are a powerful extension of your company – they effectively spread brand awareness, garner trust with your
communities as trusted advocates, are cost-effective, and introduce the company brand to new and relevant audiences. Leaning into, leveraging, and greatly appreciating their efforts can create a cohesive and passionate workforce that not only delivers exceptional customer experiences, but also helps shape a positive brand image in the minds of all the company’s stakeholders .