How to Make Every Employee a Brand Ambassador
It’s a known fact that employees who UNDERSTAND the brand promise and BELIEVE in the brand work harder—and better.
Most importantly, when employees see themselves as brand ambassadors, they create BRAND DIFFERENTIATION for your customers—something hard for your competition to replicate.
(Think about it. Your competitors can match you in each of the 4 P’s of marketing: product, price, promotion and placement. It’s the PERSONALITY of your brand—its people—that truly separates you from the pack.)
This differentiation becomes part of your competitive edge, and your employees can provide that edge. But only if they understand your goals and philosophy and feel empowered to uphold them in their daily dealings with customers.
So how do you impart that understanding and sense of empowerment?
In Guy Kawasaki’s latest book, Enchantment, he says “the single best thing that a company could do to enchant its employees is to provide them with a MAP.” This allows your employees to “MASTER new skills while working AUTONOMOUSLY for a company with a higher PURPOSE than simply making a buck. The company should be making the world a better place in some way or another.”
Guy’s theory is that in a recession, cost-cutting efforts don’t have to impact how you enchant your employees. Paying them reasonably is only one part. You must use mastery, autonomy and purpose to enchant (MAP). Here’s how:
1. Teach them how to do their job better. Offer classes. Bring in specialists. Give them access to online info, blogs and/or training.
2. Help them set goals, then get out of the way. Remember, a sense of autonomy is key to building brand loyalty and ownership among employees.
3. Show them the bigger purpose your brand has in the world. For example, FedEx’s purpose is to give people peace of mind when they absolutely, positively have to get something delivered.
4. Trust them to make the right choices. Empower your employees to go the extra mile and do the right thing for a customer in need. I omitted the reference to your transmission story, since non-subscribers reading this blog entry won’t have that context.
5. Don’t forget what it’s like to do their job. Empathy is powerful.
6. Celebrate achievements in a creative way. Think small and meaningful vs. big and expensive. Thank you notes go a looong way.
7. Remind employees that “you want them.” Verbally, in writing and in action.
8. Recognize employees in meaningful ways. Get business cards for everyone, even the warehouse guys. Give them an email address at the company. Make sure they have a workspace and that it’s inspiring in some way.
The bottom line: Enchant your employees and they will enchant others. They are your brand ambassadors.
Do you have other ideas for the list? What do you say to your inner circle? Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.
Here’s to creating a sensation and saying something new!