When you think about creating and marketing your brand, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Your website, your logo, your content marketing? Do your employees factor in? They should, and here’s why.
Direct interactions with customers
While the C-suite officers of your company are focused on the big picture, as they should be, your employees are the ones who are directly interacting with customers on a daily basis. From sales people to IT and customer support, your employees are the ones who help your customers when they need help.
It may be the marketing that catches your client’s attention, but when it comes to building lasting interactions with your company, that’s on your employees. It’s essential for the company to give them the tools and freedom that they need to succeed and keep the clients confident in the brand.
Frontline knowledge of results and what needs to change
Company executives can watch big data trends, follow social media, see what’s trending, and make a good guess as to the next evolution their company needs to make in order to stay on top or get ahead, but any good company knows that listening to their customers is a crucial piece of building success. If your employees are the ones interacting with customers, then it makes sense that employees will be the first ones to hear about a problem.
Trusting employees is a big part of empowering them as brand ambassadors and advocates. If an employee hears about a problem through a customer, whether it’s with a product or a service, they should trust that they can go to their supervisor with the issue and get help. They should also be confident in telling the customer that the issue will be resolved, and that the customer will hear back.
Good businesses give their employees enough autonomy and power to make those statements and fulfill them.
Ability to authentically share culture with customers
Whenever a company creates a piece of marketing or unveils a new product, that product is imbued with the company culture. For example, if a construction company maintains a blog that talks about the best materials for outdoor construction in their area, that blog is going to be written in a tone and with material that matches the overall ethos of the company at large.
But this is just one step of developing a brand. If, for example, that same company has incredibly formal paperwork, a blog that uses very casual language, and sales people who walk the middle-ground between the two, customers aren’t going to feel like there’s a consistent brand being demonstrated.
When a company develops their brand, they need to unveil their branding statements to employees and then get employee buy-in on the branding. This will ensure that employee presentation matches the brand of the company.
Can focus more intently on a single role
Especially in small and medium sized companies, executives tend to wear many hats. Business owners may be in charge of marketing and accounting, as well as being the overall company leader, for example. Employees have the luxury of focusing on just one slice of the company pie and making sure that they do their job very well. Whereas other company officials might feel the need to adapt their branding representation depending on which hat they’re wearing right now, employees have just the one job to do. As salespeople, as customer service staff, or as IT help, they are working to complete the one task, and they have the ability to make sure that they do it very well.
Deeply invested in business success
If a company has done its job of building its brand properly, employees will be both deeply invested in the company’s overall success, and in the success of the brand in particular. Employees will understand why the different elements of the brand were chosen, and feel confident that they can properly represent the brand to the customers and clients with whom they interact.
Because of their pride and enjoyment of their company’s branding, employees will authentically share the brand’s tenants with customers. It won’t feel forced or like the employee is checking items off on a script, because they believe in what they’re doing.
Building a brand through marketing, advertising, and company policy is important, but if your employees aren’t prepared to back your brand, you will struggle to get the penetration necessary to create long-term business success.