“We’re all in this together”, became the mantra for 2020 and it was wonderful to see many examples of community support and community spirit. The importance of connection and relationships, whether business or personal was highlighted and I believe is what people are wanting right now.
This community connection is at the forefront in marketing now with the human element shining through. It has never really gone away. The emotional element or the ESP (Emotional Selling Point) of branding and how we make our customer feel has always been most important.
Being real and authentic and connecting with customers and clients is what we’re seeing a lot more of now with the days of the “celebrity ambassador” perhaps on the wane. Brand ambassadors are often celebrities – just one person who is chosen because of their high media profile and potential to “spruik” the business as a media spokesperson. In this heightened age of personal brand communication, is this still the best strategy for your business?
Companies I have spoken to recently are considering their brand ambassador strategy and determining if it is the right fit for their organisation.
Well known personalities may still play a role but wouldn’t the ideal be that all people in the organisation shone as brand ambassadors?
Often when I am briefed on corporate brand and image workshops, I hear that one of the biggest challenges business owners and managers face is employees who are not willing to step up and standout. Maybe that is even you as the business owner or CEO?
Many people at work consider that doing the job is enough. You have been chosen for your skill and talent and input as a high performing employee – or you’re using that talent to head up your own business. You do your job well but perhaps there is a need for additional executive presence to rise to the top and be a true corporate brand ambassador.
You may be too busy doing the work to manage learning new skills, upgrading your image, networking or displaying the value you bring to others. In my experience it is often a fear factor. We hide “behind the desk” and think – if I do my job well – that’s enough. But to truly excel as a brand ambassador, it is worth considering that everything you do and say impacts on your business.
In today’s competitive environment, branding, whether businesses or people is an important strategy to stand out in the minds of customers, potential customers and consumers.
Al Ries the author of many books about branding and positioning said, “The essence of marketing is building a brand in the minds of consumers”.
Branding is more than just marketing and promoting your business through advertising, social media, promotional products or communication collateral. It is understanding and influencing how your clients or the consumer sees your brand and your people brand.
Building brand ambassadors will help boost your company’s bottom line as they are noticed, memorable, are able to build rapport and provide a relationship between your business and its products or services with customers or potential clients and gain influence to attract those customers to your door.
So how can you do this? Here’s a few quick tips to get you started.
- Gain market research. Understand what your clients and customers are thinking. Determine what your staff say about your brand, their interactions with the company and external audiences. How do they feel about their experiences of working in the business? Combine that knowledge with the leadership team’s thoughts (even if that is just you) and any views expressed through media coverage.
- Condense that knowledge into a few key attributes that sing the praises of the company and refine that until you come up with a branding statement that positively reflects your business and team. Don’t negate the negative attributes – this exercise will help you be aware of what they may be and take the necessary steps to overcome them.
- Conduct training for everyone in the business. Go through the steps you’ve taken to come up with the brand position and what the expectations of people are moving forward. This is where customised training will help to instil executive presence whether that is increased communication effectiveness through presentation skills training or introducing a new dress code and personal presentation guide.
- Leverage the brand though various communication channels, such as public relations, advertising, social media or digital presence. Most importantly leverage your Brand Ambassadors through client networking, community and charity events and other social events where they can truly shine.
Branding will help send a consistent message both internally and externally and brand ambassadors will help boost your business.
Learn more about 3 Steps to Build a Stand Out Personal Brand in my free video series, NOOK, LOOK, HOOK.
Sue Currie is a speaker and the author of IMPRESSario, Present and Promote the Star Within You. She is recognised as a leading authority on personal branding and professional presence to boost image, profile, brand and business. Sue works with businesses and entrepreneurial professionals to create and communicate impact and influence delivered through workshops, consulting, coaching and keynote presentations.