Forgotten Brand Ambassadors
We often heard a famous brand is busy looking for a celebrity brand ambassador. We sometimes forgot that one of important steps in building the image is to create a brand ambassador from the inside of the company, which are our own employees. A survey conducted by Forbes.com showed that less than 50% of employees have a belief about the concept of branding of their company, even fewer percentage of employees who are ready to implementing it in their daily activities*. How can an airline company campaign an 'on time' slogan if their own employees didn’t know how to be on time with all the constraints that they have in their daily life?
The importance to foster belief internally
I was lucky to be a witness of an employer branding process which is carried out by one of the soda companies that has been related to the cause of obesity problems. This negative perception was also affecting employees belief, up to the extreme level, as they prohibited their families to consume carbonated drinks. Through a smart internal education, campaigns, which were supported by health experts, the company gradually managed to grow its employees confidence by disclosing the facts that obesity is not caused by one or two types of foods or drinks, but the total consumption per day, which must be balanced with body activity including sports. When the internal belief had increased dramatically, they launched an ambassadorship campaign, where each employee consciously began to educate their their family and friends.
Foster a sense of trust was not easy, especially for companies that have a controversial product. Last week a senior leader of a dairy company passionately talked at length about the good side of infant formula milk for c-class mothers with malnutrition problems that led to insufficient breastfeeding. I don’t want to argue about whether the formula milk is good or not, but hearing the narrative that was supported by scientific facts, in a certain sense reduced my negative perception to the product and this is “the power of the brand ambassadorship”.
Do not hesitate to involve employees in the process.
Each product or solution certainly has its advantages and weakness, therefore the best way to grow the internal confidence is by involving employees in the process. By giving employees the freedom to objectively look at the product, generally they will have a higher sense of ownership, including giving the positive inputs as continuous improvement efforts as well as how to communicate the product or solution to external parties. (* Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/onmarketing/2013/04/09/how-starbucks-walmart-and-ibm-launch-brands-internally-and-what-you-can-learn-from-them/ )