As we celebrate Australia Day, I’d like to say congratulations to the recipients of the Australian of the Year Awards, I applaud your remarkable achievements. From stem cell research to fashion, you are an inspiration and make me and I trust many other Australians feel truly proud. Many come from humble beginnings, yet have wanted to make a difference and in doing so have made their mark. No matter what field or endeavour we are in, we can all strive to do our best and let our true light shine.
Often when I am briefed on corporate brand 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.
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 leadership presence to rise to the top and be a true corporate brand ambassador.
You may be too busy doing the work to bother with learning new skills, upgrading your image, networking or displaying the value you bring to the team. 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. Even “Brand Australia” is more than just the amazing landscape: by showcasing our remarkable Australians of the Year and their achievements it sends strong messages about our culture and people.
Al Ries the author of many books about branding and positioning has 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.
Being or 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 leadership presence whether that is increased communication effectiveness through presentation skills training or introducing a refined dress code and personal presentation guide.
- Leverage the brand though various communication channels, such as public relations, advertising, social media or website updates. 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.