Thinking you might have stepped into some weird universe where HR has turned into Marketing? Don’t worry – it’s just a short visit, but definitely worthwhile.
Staff as brand ambassadors is a classic case of when the worlds of HR and Marketing collide, because our staff are often the best salespeople for our brand… even if their day job is nothing to do with sales.
We usually hear about ‘brand ambassadors’ in the context of celebrities endorsing products. No doubt about it, sought-after celebrities have incredible brand influence. Just look at the likes of George Clooney, the All Blacks, and of course Kim Kardashian and anyone in her family tree! Whatever they endorse, sells.
Jumping back to the real world
Your staff, even the ones who aren’t in sales and marketing, can have an influence on how others perceive your brand. Their behaviour, interactions, and even the way they dress, all have a bearing on how your brand is represented – positively or negatively.
Keeping it positive
The value of staff as brand ambassadors is hard to measure. But just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing. Here are some starter tips for maximising this value …
Invest time in developing your customer service standard. Every person in your business is a brand ambassador. Are they putting that positive image forward of being helpful, polite and doing what they say they will. Or are they painting a negative picture by being rude and difficult to do business with.
Develop a communications and social media policy, remembering that all interactions can impact your brand – when your staff are talking with someone in person, or on the phone, or communicating via email or social media.
If you require a certain dress code, then ensure your staff adhere to it.
If you have company cars, include driving behaviour requirements in your company’s code of conduct. Bad driving in a sign written vehicle is not a good look for your business! Twice in the last month I have had the same vehicle pull a dodgy U-turn right in front of me. How have I remembered the car so well? It’s because it is clearly branded. This is certainly something that makes me question whether I would want to do business with that company.
Give your staff the tools to be positive brand ambassadors – provide training and information about the company’s products or services, keep them informed and invite ideas, initiatives and questions.
Be a good employer. When staff talk positively about your business as being a great place to work, the customer experience usually is better because the team ooze pride. There’s another side benefit too – attracting new staff is easier when your business is known for being a great workplace.
Nurturing our staff as brand ambassadors is something we can all do as employers. It’s a marketing tool and an HR tool that is undervalued, but can reap rewards for the business. Take the time to look at what you can do, and if you aren’t sure where to start, please give me a call or drop me a line anytime.