Did you realize that Brand Ambassadors are working at your company? In fact, it’s filled with them. While no one at your business may hold that specific job title, every employee holds that role. The responsibilities associated with being a Brand Ambassador are unlikely to be listed in many, if any, job descriptions. Yet willingly or unwillingly, you and your colleagues have implicitly taken them on.
When you hear the phrase “Brand Ambassadors,” you may think of a celebrity who become the advertising face of a company, such as Mariah Carey for Jenny Craig, or Ashton Kutcher for Nikon. Or, perhaps you think of the marketing and sales people whose job it is to promote the company’s brand through campaigns they deploy and the interactions they have with customers. Either way, you are right. But these people are not the only Brand Ambassadors that a company has.
In this era of social media, people throughout a business are promoting their companies’ brands in ways they may not realize. Employees who are tweeting and blogging about company happenings are de facto spokespeople. The way that people represent themselves on Facebook, especially if they post about work, influences how their Facebook friends view their employers. Merely listing a company on a LinkedIn profile has an impact. Fairly or unfairly, the public’s perceptions about businesses’ brands are influenced by these mediums.
Brand perceptions are also shaped by every day interactions that happen between employees and people outside the company. What they say, the tone they use to say it, how responsive they are and the quality of attention they give to customers all impact brand perception. If a customer service representative is not helpful enough, the brand is tarnished. If a delivery person driving a truck with a company’s logo on it cuts someone off, the brand is tarnished. If a CEO falsifies his resume, the brand of the company that hired him is tarnished.
A brand’s perception has an endless number of vulnerabilities. That’s why it’s important to train your employees so that they understand the role of Brand Ambassador.
Hold a formal brand training class. Educate all employees that they need to embody the brand that they are representing. Make sure everyone internalizes what the brand stands for, including the brand promise, its essence and the benefits that it strives to deliver. Share email and phone protocols with them. Have them acknowledge that when they are wearing company logoed apparel, they are walking billboards for the company and that they shouldn’t act in a way that will damage the brand. Encourage them to embrace the role of Brand Ambassador and to travel wisely.