You're all fired up about your brand. You think your brand is awesome, amazing, all-powerful, almighty, all-inclusive and every other exceptional "a" word on the planet. You advertise it. You blog about it. You sell it. You believe in it.
Does everyone else?
Wait just a marketing minute! You've invested a lot of blood, sweat and, yes, tears, into this brand. Of course everyone else believes in it. It's...The Brand.
I heard a talk last week by Robert Spector, author of The Nordstrom Way: The Inside Story of America's #1 Customer Service Company. During his talk, he asked us how many in the audience were in customer service. Because I'm a kind of an obnoxious know-it-all sometimes, I turned to my colleague and whispered, "Everyone is in customer service!!" That was, indeed, the correct answer.
The same is true of your brand. Everyone in your company should be actively engaged as a brand ambassador. They should understand the nuances of your brand, your target audience and your company goals. There is no one (no one) more actively engaged in the success of your brand than your company's employees. If your employees can not (or, more problematically, will not) promote your brand, there are ways you can encourage them to get actively involved.
1. Teach them your brand. Don't talk to them about the widgets. Tell them the story behind the widgets. Tell them about the problems the widgets solve. Not the literal problems but the problems of time or of self-worth or of leadership.
2. Connect your brand to their personal success. Let your employees know how important they are to the success of the company. Show them how they fit into the big picture. And then link their success as an employee to the success of your company as a whole.
3. Show your brand. Everything you do internally as well as externally should promote the brand. Buy team shirts. Stock the breakroom with branded mugs. Pass out branded pens. Hold a brand party. Keep your brand front and center.
Your employees are powerful advocates for your brand. They should be able to communicate clearly and effectively the important messages your brand is sending. It's imperative that you make employee buy-in a first stop in your campaigns to build brand awareness.
Kelly Tilyard is a skilled marketer and a firm believer in being passionate about your work. She is an inbound marketing convert and spends her spare time pursuing Great Adventures. Connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Photos in post: freedigitalphotos.com