Your brand isn’t just your logo, name, and the aesthetic of your website. It goes a lot deeper than that. It’s the story of what your business is and what it offers your clients and customers. Your employees are a big part of that. Acknowledging that, how do you make sure you’re using your team as the branding tool that they can be?
Get them on board
You’ve probably seen it several times already. People in front facing positions such as clerks or customer service representatives that don’t like their employer or the company one bit. It emanates from them, making it immediately obvious they’re not invested in what they’re doing. You need your people invested, so get invested in them. Help align their goals with the goals of the brand. Motivate them by helping them understand the importance of the role they play and show your appreciation when they make a good job of it. If they like their employer, their team bias will make their communications with customers much more organic. They want you to succeed because it helps them succeed and vice-versa.
Make representatives out of them
If they’re acting as brand representatives, they actually have to represent the brand. Some companies create scripts for their employees, but you don’t necessarily have to go that far. Just make sure they match the spirit you’re trying to give the business. You can have them wear branded accessories such as name badges. Or you can simply enforce dress and personal presentation rules for all your members of staff. If you’re trying to create the image of a prestigious, professional business, then it undermines that brand if your employees are dress casually.
Start shaking hands
Make your people part of the marketing team and find more ways to use the most charismatic, motivated, and best presenting amongst them. For instance, involve them at launch parties, trade shows, and industry conferences. Give them sales training even if they’re not salespeople and prepare talking points. They can make sure that everyone at your events has someone to talk to, someone leading them closer to that sale or new contract.
Let them have a voice
While you want to brand them, that doesn’t mean you have to stifle their personality. In fact, individual personality in marketing has become all the more important on social media, where companies sometimes eschew the more rigid guidelines of their branding to better fit the more casual forum the internet providers. Having your staff work social media allows them to display some of the personality inside the company, making it warmer and more approachable, a crucial feature of a platform as dynamic and conversational as social media can be. You can create marketing guidelines to make sure they stay within some boundaries, but otherwise, the informal approach has worked wonders on these platforms so far.
The people of a company can truly be some of the strongest branding tools of all. They add the human element that’s essential to crafting a closer relationship. Just make sure that you’re not forcing it, but integrating them naturally. They will be much more convincing that way.