Are you ignoring one of your most important audiences?
There are many ways to determine who your ideal – or target – audience is. Knowing who your customers are is usually step two after figuring out what it is that you actually do. One of the biggest mistakes companies make, especially in the North, is spending all of their time, energy and money on communicating just with their external audiences and overlooking those who could have an unbelievable amount of influence on the success of their business: their employees.
It’s no secret that it can be difficult to find the perfect fit of an employee. But having a well-defined brand foundation to communicate to your employee betters your chances at making them a part of your brand family.
Laura Lake describes it this way: “Brand not only creates loyal customers, but it creates loyal employees. Brand gives them something to believe in, something to stand behind. It helps them understand the purpose of the organization or the business.”
A loyal employee who believes in your brand is in a perfect position to become a strong ambassador for your brand in their personal sphere and larger community. So how do you turn employees into passionate brand ambassadors? Here are three key steps to get you started:
This is the promise you make to each and every individual that interacts with your brand. It is a culmination of your features, benefits and values and it is a perfect way to inform employees new and old about why you do what you do. Your passion is infectious, but only if it’s communicated.
Be who you say you’re going to be. Do what you say you’re going to do. Stand for what you say you stand for. Asking your employees to be enthusiastic about, or sell, a disingenuous trait, product or practice only creates a sense of dishonesty in them. It’s hard to sell something you don’t believe in, but it’s instantly recognizable when a salesperson is passionate, and that can be the difference between making a sale or not.
A brand isn’t something you post in the staff room on a bulletin board. It’s a living breathing thing that you need to reinforce through each and every communication. Involving your employees in the “why” of decisions goes a lot further than being dictated to. With a fully outlined and reinforced brand, decisions won’t be clouded in mystery – they’ll be continually coming from the same North Star: keeping your brand promise.
Whether it’s customer service, accounting, sales or the Vice President of International Relations – your brand should speak through each and every employee at each and every level.
If you’re having issues with getting your staff on board with your direction/promise, find out why. Dig a little deeper and see if your vision for who you are may be a bit aspirational. While that may be good for a vision statement, your brand promise needs to be something that you can deliver today.
Aiming for the stars is a lofty goal, and it’s admirable. Promising the moon, though, is another story. Be sure, just like when you’re creating business-centric goals, to follow the S.M.A.R.T. method of making them: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.
In a world of social media, having more ambassadors spreading your message (in a positive light) is step one in creating a brand that people can trust.