Building Better Brand Ambassadors

Now that you know what actually is a Brand Ambassador (last week’s post “Ambassador of the Brand”) – everyone involved in your company/work is a brand ambassador.

How do you make everyone in your company a better brand ambassador. It’s actually not as hard as you think, just tell them. Make sure everyone in your company from the front office to your executives to the field know they are you brand and everything they do reflects on your brand. Empower your team to “step up to the plate” and embrace being a brand ambassador. We talk about the people that put the company first and it will take a catastrophic event to make them leave your company as some one with “brand buy in”. They feel a sense of ownership to the brand even if they do not own the company. This is a great thing – harness it, encourage it, and spread it.

A few thoughts/stories to help you hammer the idea that everyone is a brand ambassador:

  • Earlier today, Mike Totsch, CPSM spoke at my local SMPS chapter’s annual workshop and one thing struck home on this topic. At his company, Tec Inc., they call their receptionist the director of first impressions. Generally, at any company the first person anyone meets in the receptionist. This person can be 3 things: forgettable, likable, or horrid. The first is okay, the second is good (lovable would be ideal), but the third one can be dramatic. Would you hire someone with a mean, even just curt, demeanor? Probably not. That person can kill years of work that a business developer or principal have spent cultivating a relationship with a stern “hello”.
  • At the same workshop, I lead a roundtable discussion on implementing your brand company wide. In each round, we discussed how far the brand reaches from the construction site to the office including the trucks moving in between. Would you hire a construction that had a poorly constructed sign that was always crooked? Would you hire the guy that just cut you off in traffic and gave you the one finger salute while driving a company vehicle? These are small details that put doubts in the mind of your customers and prospects.
  • The last story speaks to the impact of one individual on a global brand. When I earned the Eagle Scout rank in Boy Scouts, I was told I was a “marked man”. For everything I do well or poorly will be identified with my achievement. If I kill someone today, tomorrow’s paper will read, “Eagle Scout murders man.” This would instantly be national news and dramatically change people’s opinion of Boy Scouts everywhere. That one headline would diminish the last 100 years of Scouting where Eagle Scouts have become President of the United States, astronauts, generals, and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.

Remember, your company does not sell itself to another company. Business is about you selling all of your individuals to a selection committee made up of individuals. Each of those individuals have their own experience with your brand and your competitors brands. How do they experience your brand? How do your brand ambassadors make this experience better or worse?