“Want To Find Brand Ambassadors? Start With Your Employees” – Branderati
Among the most valuable assets and differentiators for a company, its brand is probably one of the most vital. While a company’s offerings are used to deliver the promise a company makes to its customers, this promise is conveyed and delivered through the brand as well. The company’s employees represent a brand it is their attitude and demeanour towards customers that would determine the brand’s success. To transform employees as brand ambassadors, it would be the onus of the company to ensure engagement. A company could spend huge amounts of resources on trying to convince customers that it is focused on their needs but there would be no greater evidence than if customers were greeted warmly and made to feel important. This would be the job of the employees and companies that want to enhance the value of their brand and make customers feel important must first recognize employees as brand ambassadors. They would convey the same feelings and behaviours to customers, as they receive from their company.
Is your company succeeding in making its employees as brand ambassadors? If yes, what are you doing to help employees understand and value the company and the brand? Your company must ensure that it treats its employees well such that they consistently convey the vision and mission of the brand through their behaviour with customers and one another. A company that can build an army of employees as brand ambassadors would be able to strengthen its position in the marketplace and gain favour with both existing and potential customers. Why is it so important for a company to make its employees as brand ambassadors?
A company that is internally strong and united, would become a formidable force and this competitive advantage is not something that its competitors would find tough to replicate. A strong company is one, which has truly engaged employees – employees as brand ambassadors – willing to do whatever it takes to make the company successful. Customers too are drawn closer to companies where they can build strong relationships and emotional connections – these connections do not form with inanimate objects. The bond a customer forms with a company is through a connection with an actual person – someone that embodies the brand and displays passion for them. It is the employees, who can either make or break these relationships. A company can either have employees as brand ambassadors or employees that are hell bent on destroying any hint of positivity or the possibility of personal connections with customers.
Employees as brand ambassadors are those invaluable assets who will, through their dedication, passion, high quality work, and commitment to customer service create a brand image so strong, it would become seemingly indomitable. When employees double up as brand advocates, they will become living proof of positive culture of your company. Such promotion and advertisement is not something that an ordinary company would possess. As existing customers feel the positivity and enhanced levels of service, they would be extremely willing to tell others about their experiences, encouraging potential customers to do business with a company. These ‘new’ customers would enter the association with fewer apprehensions and with a positive mind-set towards the company and its brand.
Employees as brand ambassadors serve as facilitators and ‘vehicles’ that would also support positive outcomes for a company and its brand. Every company has potential brand ambassadors ‘hidden’ in its ranks – if the company is unable to ‘discover’ them and utilize their potential the fault would lie completely with the company. Identifying brand ambassadors within the company is not a hard call – it simply requires time and focus. Brand ambassadors are highly engaged with the company and are high on customer service. They show commitment, towards spreading the company’s culture and focus on the customer, in their actions. They appreciate the company’s ideologies, the path laid down of serving the customer, and would consistently seek to do whatever is best for the customers and the company. They strive to become trusted partners and constantly find ways to cement the customer’s trust in them and the brand. Employees as brand ambassadors truly make a brand and the company stand apart from the perspective of customer service.
The other trait of employees who could be brand ambassadors is that they do their job with the utmost passion and deliver high quality and output consistently. These ‘stars’ require little or no supervision, since they would be highly engaged and extremely conscientious about their tasks. They understand the significance of their role and know that it fits in with the overall performance of the company and contributes to raising the standards of customer service. They go by the rule – ‘customer service is everyone’s responsibility’. Employees as brand ambassadors understand that if their job is to add meaning, it must be done well and should in some way contribute to excellence in customer service. These employees are shining examples of the rule of customer service – “I just think about how I would like to be treated as a customer….it’s about treating others as you would like to be treated.” – Barbara Zonin.
Employee brand advocates would also believe in ensuring that everyone within the company was treated well too. They appreciate the challenges and contributions of their co-workers. They are ready to help and pitch in and ensure that each team is strong and empowered. We have discussed in the past that a successful company would have happy and stress-free employees. The employees as brand ambassadors spread positivity, help their co-workers, contribute towards building teams, and go beyond their job role by being part of challenging assignments and projects, for the betterment of the company and promotion of the brand. They are strong and are unafraid to provide recognition wherever and to whomever it may be due. This is what makes them likeable, trustworthy, and over time grow into leadership roles within the organization.
As mentioned before, to create brand ambassadors from employees, they must receive some kind of direction – an example to follow. This would come from the company’s leadership – the top brass, who through their actions display their dedication and commitment towards the brand. Employees find it easier to emulate and follow in the footsteps of the leaders until they are ready to become strong and confident brand ambassadors of the company. The better and more consistently leaders come across as brand ambassadors, the higher the likelihood of employees following suit. A company cannot and should not expect to create engagement within its workforce, if the leadership is unable to lead by example.
Employees as brand ambassadors are actually the ‘face and voice’ of the company and its brand. They are the ones that will show customers, other stakeholders, and the target audience the actual culture of the company. Employees as brand ambassadors are so because they understand the brand and know how it contributes towards customer happiness and loyalty. Such employees are motivated and find innovative ways to promoting the brand and company. By making a concerted effort, a company would not find it hard to find these ‘gems’ and then use them to create personal connections and pleasant experiences within the company and with the company’s customers. Have you found your ‘gems’ yet?