This article was originally published on September 5, 2017 on www.trinet.com
Branding is, of course, a huge part of the success of any business. After all, it’s how you sell your product or service to your consumer. Branding doesn’t just encompass your sales and marketing efforts, though. To be successful, branding needs to involve all your employees, no matter what their role in your organization.
Have you ever considered the connection between your brand and your employees? Making sure your employees understand and, more importantly, believe in your brand can help business overall. Think of it this way: If your employees aren’t passionate about your brand, why would you expect your consumer to be?
Check out these strategies for using branding to ensure your team is buying what you’re selling.
1) Define your brand and how employees contribute to it
Employees need to have a clear picture of what your brand is, why it matters and how it relates to the role they fulfill with your company. Make sure they understand how they fit into the big picture that makes up your brand and business. Giving them a deep understanding of your brand should be part of their new hire training. In fact, onboarding shouldn’t be considered complete until they can tell you what your brand is, why it’s important and how it is differentiated from the competition.
2) Make sure your internal materials are on-brand
You put a lot of work into developing a consistent brand voice for all your content. But do you make sure the materials that are for employee eyes only also match that brand? When it comes to your content, the style, message and tone of what you put out there should look and feel the same, whether it’s for internal or external viewing.
3) Let your brand guide your recruiting efforts
If your brand is strong enough, it will naturally attract the type of employees you want working for your company. You can also make sure you are hiring those for whom your brand really resonates by paying particular attention during the recruiting process to what really sparks for them. You may find this in an employee’s resume or in the interview.
For instance, if exemplary customer service is vital to your brand, an employee who highlights their experience in turning around a former employer’s customer service department may be the ideal fit. Likewise, if you are a camping gear company whose brand is to sell adventure, an applicant who spends her vacations hiking to the summits of the world’s tallest mountains can really help push your brand.
4) Invest in continuing your employee brand engagement
Like any relationship, keeping your employees engaged with your brand is a process. An engaged employee is more likely to stay with your company. You can help your employees be more engaged by keeping them invested in your brand and company. Ways to do this include:
- Implementing a yearly eLearning course about your brand.
- Regular off-site team bonding activities that enforce your brand and allow employees to utilize the products and services you sell.
- Creating a mentorship program that allows people to grow with your company while learning more about the brand from upper-level managers.
- Opening two-way conversations for brand improvement by allowing employees to regularly voice their suggestions and concerns about the company and its internal processes.
5) Create a culture that produces brand advocates
Create an environment where your employees not only believe in your brand, but advocate for it. Give them the tools and encouragement they need to promote your brand and whatever it represents. Bonus: Having your current employees advocate for your brand can attract potential employees who are also passionate about your brand.
Employee advocacy can be very powerful on social media, at events and when talking to customers. Empower your employees to use these outlets to further your brand.
Satisfied employees can help strengthen your brand. As Josh Tolan, the Founder and CEO of Spark Hire, Inc., once wrote, “Happy employees positively influence your brand and with it your bottom line.”