Brand Ambassadors can be found in a variety of places. Depending on your industry, they may be athletes, gamers, foodies, or simply customers who love your brand. One powerful resource some brands overlook are employee brand ambassadors. The key to turning your employees into active brand ambassadors is offering an excellent work environment and structuring your program in a way that makes it easy for employees to get on board. In this post, we offer our insights into doing just that!
Why do Employees Make Excellent Brand Ambassadors?
Employees are a natural fit for brand ambassadors. They already know your company well, and can easily speak about the products or services you sell. As true “insiders” of the brand, their opinion goes a long way with consumers. They represent the company’s culture and values, and have the power to build brand trust. Employees make for excellent recruiters, as well. In fact, 32 percent of job seekers look for employee reviews about companies before they choose to send in their resumes.
How to Ensure Success:
Before recruiting your employees to become brand ambassadors, here are some things to consider:
Make sure your employees are happy
This may sound obvious, but employees need to be satisfied with their work environment to become good advocates for the brand. Be sure to encourage employee input and feedback. Let them know they are central to your company’s mission and success – verbally and with incentives. Here are some tips:
- Encourage personal growth with skills-development opportunities
- Celebrate victories in departments as well as individual achievements
- Offer transparency and open communication among management and employees
- Create work/ life balance (such as flexible schedules or time off for wellness activities)
- Give an employee satisfaction survey at regular intervals
Companies with already great working environments will naturally do well with employee brand ambassador campaigns. Creating a sense of community among employees is key. Team-building activities are a great way to do this. Having a diverse and inclusive staff is important, too. Make sure your management team focuses on positives, especially when suggesting areas for improvement. Lastly, don’t forget the little things – hosting monthly lunches and seasonal company events can go a long way in creating feelings of connectedness.
Be a sustainable brand.
According to a recent report by First Insight, two-thirds of consumers across all generations are willing to pay more for sustainable goods. This is especially true of Gen X, with 90% reporting they would spend more. Sustainable brands have a mission beyond profits. They typically take an active role in protecting and/ or giving back to communities and the environment. Sustainable brands also have a lot for employees to talk about and share with pride! Here are some examples of sustainable practices that employees can be directly involved in:
- Charitable events, such as donating to local food drives
- Participating in fundraising events, like walk-a-thons
- Special offsite projects, such as volunteer home building for Habitat for Humanity
- Virtual volunteering (ex. Offering free technical training for underserved communities)
Having a volunteer program within your organization is a great way to get your staff involved. If you’re not sure where to start, check out this article for creating a successful employee volunteer program from Volunteer Hub.
Empower employees to be representative of the brand
Not all employees will be interested in being brand ambassadors, and that’s ok. Recruit employees who are already active on social media or micro-influencers and interested in the program. It’s important to make it easy for employees to get involved and stay active in your campaigns. Here are some key ways to do so:
- Have approved content and resources that can easily be shared
- Monitor activity and offer feedbacks
- Highlight top content creators to show appreciation and inspire others
- Create an approval process to keep messaging consistent
- Offer rewards that will keep members excited about the program
Having a clearly defined brand ambassador program will help you stay on target. If you’re just starting out, you can manage activities using spreadsheets. Many companies find it easier to use a platform such as BrandChamp, so they can easily monitor ambassador activities and issue reward incentives. With BrandChamp, you can also segment your ambassadors into groups – such as an employee group, a customer group, and a VIP group. This helps streamline communications and saves your marketing team a lot of time.
Examples of Brands with Excellent Employee Ambassador Programs
- Adobe – The software giant started engaging its employees as brand advocates back in 2013 and has been going strong ever since. They have over 100 niche groups within the program that employees can join based on their interests and what they like to share on social media. In addition to creating fun activities and challenges, Adobe provides training for employees who want to participate in the program. Every office showcases top performers and content shared to create a strong sense of community.
- Starbucks – The coffee chain has an excellent approach to recruit employees as brand ambassadors. Rather than offer rewards for content shared, they offer skills training and opportunities for career advancement. In-depth content guidelines created by the company help keep social sharing consistent. They also call their employee ambassadors “partners,” acknowledging the important role that they play in the brand’s success.
Employees are a valuable resource when it comes to building your ambassador marketing program. When your employees believe in your brand, so do others! By creating an excellent work environment, you can lay the foundation for employees to become passionate ambassadors. Once that is in place, building a brand ambassador program for your employees is easy with the right software. If you’re interested in learning more about our solutions, schedule a free call with us.