How Employees Can Make or Break Your Brand
When you want to build a brand recognized for a certain set of characteristics and qualities, all kinds of initiatives can come to mind. Advertising, publicity, social media, and influencers all play their role in developing brands. Consumers recognize, relate to, and eventually come to adore the types of company that can use all of these aspects to communicate their value - and values - in a clear and concise manner. One of the most important areas in brand building, however, is also one of the most overlooked: the people who represent that brand each and every day.Bring Your Brand and People Together
In most cases, your business will not have all of the people you need to build the right brand. In fact, many might not even have a set of brand values defined to pass on to their people. Not a problem! You simply need to take some time to lay out those values and do not have the together so that you can establish a base and develop that identity over time. There are always affordable and creative ways to develop a brand without spending billions of dollars. The latest online trend towards visual content over text can help, as can inserting your company into the local and/or national conversation via earned media initiatives. What makes the most difference, however, is a company whose employees understand and exemplify the qualities that its brand should represent. Some of the core considerations as you align your brand with the people who represent it are as follows:
- What is unique about the brand? How does it manifest in your daily business and culture?
- What kind of person ? Try to list out their ideal characteristics and experience.
- How and where can you hire the right people to represent those qualities and brand values you have defined?
- What type of training is required to bring out the best of the people you hire, as well as those who already work for you?
- How do you build those brand values into daily life at your workplace?
When you are able to answer the questions above, you will have the foundation you need to bring the essence of your brand into the interactions customers have with your employees. From there, it's all about continuing to train them in a way that stays true to your brand and increasing employee buy-in to the story behind your business.Selling Your Brand Story
With the right people in place, the story of how your company came to be - and why you promote the brand values that fuel it - can come to life. Your story serves as a focus point for employees and anyone who wants to hear it, from which brand values naturally flow. Your story serves as a focus point for employees and anyone who wants to hear it, from which brand values naturally flow. Think of any local mom and pop business that you love. From how closely they tailor the customer experience to how familiar they are with individuals who shop there, you're in no doubt what they're all about and why they do what they do. The most effective marketing - and, by extension, branding - is rooted in a narrative that every employee understands. That's your brand story. Is your company a plucky young startup, founded by college roommates driven to disrupt the status quo? What about the online business that finds a niche and pivots into all kinds of other products? (Hey, Amazon used to be all about books!) Or maybe you're a familiar family brand that has served its community for several generations? All of these things are interesting angles that tell the tale of who you are and what it is that you represent. That story is what compels people to check out your marketing materials, visits your store, click through to your website and, eventually, to buy the products and services that you offer. Tell that story is as many different ways as you can and build it into your business experience wherever possible. Use your narrative as a context for everything from marketing campaigns to customer rewards. It gives you a marketing hook to hang your hat on, brand values that competitors can't easily match, and helps your people to become part of the brand. We're all about using the most effective marketing tools, but it takes a well-defined brand to make them most effective. Taken together the power of people and a compelling story to build your brand and provide a platform that attracts new customers is second to none.
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