Brand building is a buzz word in most industries these days. So, you may have spent time improving aspects like your logo, online exposure and revisiting your values to ensure you align with client preferences. But have you put enough energy into reviewing employee influence on your audience?
With your team interacting with people—clients, partners, suppliers and the general public—they have the power to make or break your brand. What do others think when your team answers your phones or arrives at a work site wearing your company’s work uniforms? You need to manage these situations and more.
Let’s see how you can protect your brand and even build it through your workers.
Share Your Vision—Over and Over
Never expect others to think the same way you do or know your expectations, unless you tell them.
You have a specific goal for your business and want the world to think of you in a certain manner. Is it to be known as the tech experts in your field? Or perhaps being a family-run company is your USP? No matter the vision and your values, you need your team to enforce that idea wherever they go. But they won’t know how to adjust their actions to suit your vision or what to communicate to clients if you don’t tell them the priorities.
To successfully share this message, here are some techniques:
- Always make sure new plans align with your vision
- Talk about values in your company newsletter
- Incorporate your values in office décor
- Get feedback from clients about their interactions with your team, to gauge if employees act within your value system
- Launch training sessions to guide team members in aligning their communication and attitude with the company values
Your team may get fed up hearing about the values, but then there’s no chance they’ll forget them.
Make Teamwork and Teambuilding a Priority
Next, a goal all managers and company owners should have is to boost synergy between team members. Your brand values will be reinforced when your whole team act together and showcase the same value system. If someone feels like an outcast they may not see a reason to join in following the vision. So, set aside time to efficiently onboard new members and ensure everyone feels included.
Turn Your Team into Visual Ambassadors
Clearly, you can do a lot—like training and vision sharing—to make sure what your team tells others align with your brand values. But don’t underestimate the value of making a visual statement through your team.
Many brands invest in branded work uniforms, with logos clearly displayed on pockets or the back of a shirt. It can even be a cap for workers that are outside all day.
Having branded outfits can have the following positive outcomes for your company:
- With everyone wearing similar outfits, workers feel part of something bigger and can be more motivated to perform their duties.
- Ensuring your team wears quality outfits proves you prioritise neatness and professionalism, so clients may respect and trust you more.
- If your team members wear their outfits around town after hours, your logo on a shirt acts as free advertising.
- With your logo and company colours being seen all across town every day, more and more people get to know your name. They may think of you next time they need your products or services. It’s like free visual advertising.
- Seeing your logo on a work shirt can prompt someone to ask a question about the company. Your employee can then share about your brand to an accepting audience.
Always Keep Your Promises
Of course, your employees will only talk positively about your brand if they’re really happy working for you. If not, their body language or their words may show others they’re not passionate about their employer.
But how do you keep everyone happy?
In short, you can’t. But you can establish yourself as a fair employer and keeping your promises goes a long way in proving this. When employees know what to expect from you and if you do provide what you promise them, it builds respect which can lead to loyalty. And when employees are loyal to your brand, they will rarely do anything to damage it.
Allow Your Team to Help You Plan
Build their loyalty in another way by allowing your team to dream with you. Yes, as the leader or owner of a company you have a lot of insight. But employees have a different perspective and may give you valuable ideas you didn’t think of.
Also, by asking their feedback, they feel their opinions matter and they’re making a difference. This sense of purpose is another way you can inspire them to only do what’s good for the brand, such as protecting its reputation.
Protect the Brand—Trust the Team
The responsibility of moving your company forward will always rest heavily on your shoulders as a leader. But give your team some credit, hear what they have to say and think creatively about how they can benefit the brand. They may surprise you.