Your employees know you best. They have the potential to be a great brand advocate for your company. They are the ones who are on the front lines of customer engagement. But they need to be equipped so that they can fulfill their brand advocacy role. Being able to answer 4 fundamental questions is the first step. They don’t need to be brand experts. They also don’t have to recite brand doctrine word-for-word. But they do need to have a degree of brand intelligence. Understanding the brand will empower them to represent your company in a relevant, meaningful, and distinctive way.
1. What is a Brand?
Employees don’t need to know the technical definition of a brand. But they should have a fundamental understanding of what it is. However, defining what brand is has become a confusing proposition. Even the experts are not in agreement. So it’s no wonder that employees can’t connect their brand with their job. It is just not meaningful to them. But learning what constitutes a brand will lay the groundwork for understanding their company’s brand and why it matters. Certainly, no customer is going to ask them what a brand is. But it’s a question they need to answer to themselves to understand the meaning of their own brand. What’s the answer? That’s what good brand training will help with.
2. What’s My Brand?
We know that a brand is a lot more than a name or logo. But it is also a lot more than the vision and mission of the company. It takes an understanding of what the brand fundamentally stands for and what makes it special. Being a great brand advocate requires an appreciation of what makes the brand different. A great brand advocate needs to be equipped to live out the brand in what they do. They need to be able to deliver on the promise, personality, voice, and experience through their behavior and customer engagement. That’s what builds trust and loyalty.
3. Why Should I Care?
A great brand advocate needs to grasp the value of branding. They need to know why it matters. And why it matters to their job. It is not an esoteric marketing concept. It is what makes the difference in building a trusted relationship. It also matters to building an internal culture of employees that all share the same values around the brand they represent.
4. How do I live the brand?
Branding information is valuable. However, it only has value if that knowledge is put into practice in tangible ways. The ultimate pay-off with creating brand advocates is the training in how they live the brand. It is not only the way they engage customers but also how they engage with their colleagues. Brand-guided behavior creates an internal brand culture and reflects an authentic and genuine outward expression of the brand. This authenticity will build and maintain the trust that is so important in creating loyal customers.
Taking the Next Step
To be a great brand advocate just begins with understanding how to answer these four questions. There is, of course, a lot more to it. This is where implementing a brand training strategy will help more fully equip your employee brand advocates. Brand training will provide the basic fundamentals of branding. More importantly, it will provide a comprehensive understanding of what your brand stands for and all of the building blocks of what makes your brand special. That’s how brand works.