As many marketers will tell you, the best way to create some buzz about your brand is through word of mouth marketing. People need to be interested enough about your brand and business to discuss it, to promote it, to make it known to other people. And one of the best ways to do this is ensure you have brand advocates who are willing and ready to talk about your brand.
Best brand advocates on home turf
Now here’s the tricky part… how do you go about finding these people who support your brand, are passionate about it, and are ready to spread the word about it? Though business owners typically look to their customers in their search for brand advocates, most of them overlook the fact that they already have possibly the best brand advocates right in their own turf – the people who work for them, their employees.
Your employees are the ones who are constantly exposed to your brand, who know what your brand stands for, its mission and values. They can actually be your best brand advocates with the right motivation and incentive, or your worst enemies since they see all the “dirty laundry” about your brand as well. So how do you turn them into people who are willing to go the extra mile for your brand?
It’s not enough to merely give them a company booklet and expect them to start promoting your brand already. You have to help them fall in love with your brand, just as you would your customers. As important as it is to concentrate on the consumers of your brand, you should also pay special attention to your employees as they can definitely be the forefront of your brand advocacy.
Engaging your workforce
There’s a lot to be gained by engaging your workforce. As you know, your employees know people, who know other people, and so on. When your employees gain a better understanding of your brand and grow to love it, they’ll be the first to let their friends and family know how much your products and services really work.
This growing commitment and dedication to your brand also results in an increase in your employees’ morale, as they begin to feel a sense of community around your brand. Since they understand the brand better, they will be able to serve your customers and respond to issues a lot better.
A good example is Zappos.com, a company that’s renowned for their internal branding strategy. Their employees are truly committed to the brand, which has resulted in excellent customer service, repeat customers, and rapid growth of the business. According to the CEO of Zappos, their internal brand begins with the culture they cultivate within the company, and this has led to loyal and dedicated employees willing to go the extra mile for the brand.
One of the things that the company is known for is an outstanding internal communication within the company. They ensure that the management is accessible to the workforce, they immediately share any good or bad news to their employees, and they make sure that they follow through on any promises they make.
Talk with not at
You see, the key to an effective internal branding strategy is basically to talk with your people, not at them. It’s important that you listen to them, get their feedback, and communicate with them on a level they can understand. Don’t ignore them, or you could be losing out on the best brand advocates you could ever have for your business.