Brand Ambassadors – What do they do and where do you find them?
A brand ambassador is traditionally a person who is hired by a company to represent their brand positively. They will raise your profile by increasing brand awareness and sales of your product or service. Often, it’s a high-profile celebrity on TV (if the budget is endless!) or social influencers using branded products and promoting them to their followers.
So, what if you’re a fairly new business, or you’re looking to grow and you can’t afford high-profile influencers as your brand ambassadors? What can you do to get your brand out there and who can you get to champion you?
They’re closer than you think…
In your business right now, you have an untapped resource for promoting your brand…your employees.
It’s so important to get your employees on board and there’s a lot to gain from what your employees have to say about your business, its products and/or services. If there is a disconnect between your employees and your brand, there will be a disconnect between your brand and your customers.
So, how do you get them on board?
Most companies have a mission statement, a vision, a logo and a company name, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have a brand identity. The first step is to establish who you are, where you want to be, who your customers are and how you intend to reach them. Then you need to inspire your team to become brand ambassadors and champion your brand’s integrity.
Digital Glue creative director, Ben King added:
“For me, the process of ensuring staff are on board with your brand begins before they start working for you. I recommend building into your recruitment process, questions that will uncover whether an applicant already shares many of your key company values. They may have all the core skills you’re looking for, but if they don’t share your vision and brand values, they will most likely not be a good fit.”
“Another way you can engage an existing staff team, is involve them in the creation of your brand. Whether you’re a start-up or an established business, when you’re looking to define you brand identity and gain leverage from it, you should ensure this is not a top down exercise. You must not dictate the brand, you should instead look to uncover it by involving staff along the way.”
Honesty is the first step to loyalty
Be honest with your employees and keep them in the loop. Encourage everyone in the business to be transparent about company updates, success, failures and financials. The more your employees know about your company, the better chance you’ll have of them becoming your brand ambassadors.
Equip your team with the right tools
In order to empower your employees to represent and promote your brand properly, make sure you’ve provided them with all the tools they’ll need, like the right font, the tone of voice and imagery associated with your brand. Develop a brand style guide that’s accessible to all and if anything changes, let them know and update the guide.
Make sharing as easy as possible
If you want everyone in your business to share your content, you need to make it as easy for them as possible. Make sure your employees are familiar with your brand strategy and it’s always good to set some loose guidelines and give them some direction. Show them examples of what they could say or where they could share the news. Offer training on social media platforms that they can use outside of work as well.
Live the brand
Your brand messages should be integral to your employees’ everyday experience. Promote the messages in the company handbook, your office walls and your company newsletters.No matter what size your business is, it is important to have an identity that your employees can align themselves to; without a brand your company is just a name and a logo. Once your employees are on board, your customers will follow.