Helping employees live your brand

How your staff can become ambassadors for the business

Your company’s brand is one of your most valuable assets. It’s what differentiates you in the marketplace and cements your reputation. When employees believe in the brand, a business will prosper. So here are a dozen quick tips for ensuring that everyone is playing their part in the process.

Ensure brand alignment
It’s essential to ensure that both employees and the leadership team understand what your brand stands for. Any lack of clarity from the top will mean employees don’t understand what is expected of them, which will translate into a confusing experience for your customers.

Communicate the vision
Make sure your employees understand the brand proposition. It’s vital that everyone is speaking from the same page when it comes to who you are and what you do, so make sure you have communicated the vision effectively. How can your team deliver on the corporate brand promise if they aren’t clear about what it is?

Keep it simple
Your brand needs to have simplicity at its heart. Some marketers can alienate their internal audience by creating an overly complex brand structure that is difficult to execute for employees.

Make your employees the hero
Celebrate your employees in your brand materials and put them front and centre. Ditch the generic stock imagery or shots of your slick new building and create imagery centred around your teams.

Educate your employees
Provide your employees with training and guidance about how to represent and live the brand. Map out the customer journey with them, helping them identify what materials to use and how to ensure a cohesive brand experience.

Create great content
You must create compelling and relevant content that will inspire employees to spread the word. Company news, articles and press releases can be fine, but interactive and design-rich media such as infographics, images and videos will work much better.

Invest in design
Make your employees proud of your brand and its content by ensuring it looks the part. Today people are far more design savvy than ever before and regularly consume design-rich content. Make sure your brand can stand up against not just your competitor set, but also the brands that your employees are interacting with.

Don’t be over-protective of your brand
You should have the confidence to let employees present your brand in a way that feels authentic to them. Give them the understanding, tools and guidance and then let the brand breathe. Not every employee is the same and one size does not fit all. Different types of people require different tactics in order to turn them into brand ambassadors, so try to have as flexible an approach as possible and build a full brand tool kit that they can draw from.

Don’t be afraid of social media – let employees tell the brand story
When social media first became popular, many employers banned its use at work because it was a distraction. If you want your employees to post, tweet and snap about your business, you’ll need to relax those rules. Also, give employees the opportunity to attend industry events and conferences where they can meet clients and get the chance to promote the brand to their peers or competitors.

Make it easy to share and keep them informed
Send out a weekly company-wide email that includes all content (news, articles, events, images etc) that employees can share. They know their clients best and can send on information that is timely and accurate. You should also encourage employees to follow, like and share the firm’s social media updates with their networks.

Internal networking
Encourage internal networking by providing a forum for staff to interact with each other. It will help facilitate sharing of information, peer-to-peer learning and idea generation. You would be surprised how much practical insight can be brought into your branding communications.

Listen and act on feedback
Engage in a two-way dialogue with your employees. Invest the time to listen to your staff and provide them with a forum to influence the direction your brand takes. This might include an annual survey where employees can provide candid anonymous feedback.

Finally, remember your brand is not static. It can morph over time and should be as dynamic as your organisation and its people. Always look for it to evolve.