Originally Published in Rising Nepal
With the rapid growth of technology and social media, changes have become inevitable. Now, brand values and vision should not just exist on the “about us” section of the company’s website and the “introduction section” of the company brochure, it needs to be fed within the culture of the company.
Change is necessary for delivering a company’s message to the public. We see corporations having celebrities as brand ambassadors that are good in most cases because of the attraction that it gets and the quick spreading of messages. The problem is that brand messaging done by celebrity brand ambassadors does not always stay in the mind of the people for a long time in most of the cases.
The message needs to be a constant and loyal source because the general mindset of the public is different, now they understand the difference between paid promotion and genuine messaging. For that, the best way to communicate the message is through employees. Employee branding is the new buzz in the branding industry and companies are bringing out the inside stories and messages of the organization through employees. The world is now dealing with this deadly situation for businesses. Dozen of companies are now shutting down because of the problem in operation. It is even more necessary to focus on branding. That can be done with low cost by focusing on employees and their betterment.
According to a Harvard Business Journal study, 89% of people believe that when the purpose of the company is shared among employees there is a higher rate of satisfaction. The main idea of making employees as brand ambassadors is to shape the culture of the team as such so that they can project brand identity in their daily life. Employees are not just someone who works for the company but should be representative of the brand in all possible ways. They need to be advocates of the brand that not only spreads the values and message of the organization but also lives by similar values, which is the Company’s Brand Value Integration among employees. In this situation, consumers are waiting to listen to the company and how it is dealing with it. They will trust employees more than anyone while receiving the information. If the company shares anything consumers see as marketing activities especially about products or services. But when an employee shares the same thing connecting with the story it’s more appealing and people feel connected towards it.
Brand engagement is important in terms of the longevity of the brand. That is possible when a person talks about the brand and others take it seriously and get engaged with that and start talking about it. According to research by MIT, if employees are loyal and they engage with the brand, the visibility is higher. So, making them believe in the brand is very important. Another major outcome that comes with making employees as ambassadors is getting potential good employees. People choose happier places where they are valued. In any place where the employees are brand ambassadors, they attract potential candidates for it.
The process of making employees brand ambassadors is long and persistence is needed. The process should start from the hiring itself. During the hiring process, it is extremely important to see if the candidate is fit for the brand or value that the company carries or not. Employees need to believe in the brand from within. This can be obtained from different types of training for awareness and educate employees about brand processes. In training, it is not necessary to teach about how they can showcase the brand in public and social media. But educating them about the core values of the company, what it stands for and the vision that company has. In the well-executed brand training employees also learn to communicate the brand and most importantly why it matters to them. Sharing a picture at work is not employee branding. For any kind of branding, the message should carry the brand values.
Communication between employees and employers is really important for making employees brand ambassadors. They can’t share information if they are not updated about the offers, updates that the company is bringing. Communication is a major key player in every sector, and in branding, it is even more important. In the situation of COVID 19, It is even much required to communicate the message of how the company is working in the lockdown or the problem that it is facing. So, that hope remains with employees and they are loyal towards it.
Any company that takes care of the employees prosper in every sense. The next important part is the reviews provided by employees. Reviews don’t need to be on social media that my company takes good care of me. This should be indirect but again carrying the message of the brand. It is also suggested to provide the message contextually.
The working environment is another factor that affects the behavior of the employees. No employee will share about the workplace unless they are comfortable. Employees should get positive vibes and feel comfortable to share.
Content has Values
I believe the best and easiest way to make employees as a brand ambassador is to encourage them to create content for their social media. Content that has values and message, work well for branding. This has a better impact on the mind of the people who are a consumer of the content. Blogs by employees are a popular format of content creators worldwide.
Branding is not the sole responsibility of the brand manager or marketing team. Every employee of the company can contribute to the brand of the company. Every employee can be the brand ambassador of the company. This can be achieved by communicating the core values and vision to the employees. Building trust and transparency between employees and employers is thus important for creating a positive working environment that can be achieved through the right training and tools. Even at times of lockdown we can share the positivity among employees and send positive messages to the consumers.