Millions if not billions of dollars are spent by businesses on advertising, marketing and promotion every year to people outside of the business, but quite often employees are ignored when it comes to how they can build your business brand. Employees can build your business brand simply because they are active stakeholders in the creation or operational process of the business. It is therefore inevitable that they create impressions that affect the awareness and association of the brand. As to whether it reinforces the expectations that marketing set or works against it is entirely up to the business. (Image credit: Flickr)
To maximize exposure and engagement from people regardless of where they might be, it is important to ensure participation on the part of employees even outside of the work place and at any time. Employees can build your business brand or portray an image of your brand that isn’t what you would like reflected of your business. Ignoring this segment that is within the business can only serve to negate the expectations that your business branding team is trying to set.
Consider this –
The authenticity of any brand—its perception as genuine, legitimate and trustworthy—is directly dependent on the willingness of the company’s employees to act and deliver in a manner that is consistent with the expectations shaped by marketing.
When marketing is done well, consumers begin not only to believe in and identify with the brand, but to associate a personality with it as well. They may see it as dependable, intelligent, friendly or trustworthy—all human terms. That’s why the foundation of any brand lies in its reputation—earned through every prospect/customer interaction. It’s a product of first and last impressions of the brand formed through all the experiences in between.
While marketing generally focuses on the four P’s—product, place, price and promotion—your efforts should expand to include two more: promise and people. And, with the authenticity of a brand’s reputation so dependent on employee behavior, strategies and programs should be developed that address the effect of both on the brand’s authenticity.
Since brand promise rests on employee attitudes and behaviors, aligning the organization’s goals with individual action is not only the first step to gaining a competitive advantage, it is the most important.