Most companies will undergo a re-branding or re-positioning at some point,. In an ever changing world, where the client is becoming more and more demanding, and presented (bombarded) with an endless torrent of advertising from companies vying for their custom, businesses need to adapt and adjust to the market. Many spend large sums on new advertising campaigns, logos and strap lines, but forget about one, extremely important and effective resource, its employees.
Any business that has client facing employees, whether this be in an outlet, over the phone or in face to face meetings, should be utilising this resource as a way to reinforce their message and promote the company brand and message.
In a great TED talk (below), Simon Sinek explains how companies and individuals inspire others. Among the companies that he mentions are Apple, who as we all know have been immensely successful in their brand, message and advertising.
One of the key points of the speech above is that companies who are successful often explain to customers (and prospective customers) ‘why’ they do what they do, and that they ‘believe’ in what they do. If these businesses employees did not know ‘why’ or portrayed their ‘belief’ in their companies offerings then this would seriously impact any marketing campaign that was conducted, not to mention the overall company messaging.
What you may notice about companies like Apple, is that their customer facing employees know and understand the company message. In Apple’s case the shop floor workers are called ‘Genius”. This employee ‘label’ immediately gives the impression to customers that Apple’s employees know everything about the product (and brand) that there is to know. They are not called ‘iPhone 4 Genius’ or ‘Mac Air Genius’, they have been given a job title that incorporates the entire brand.
If those employees are asked “what do you do for a living”, they can reply “I’m an Apple Genius’!, therefore invoking a conversation about the brand.
On the ‘flip side’ businesses who do not communicate their brand message with their employees effectively place a brick wall in front of their marketing campaign. Even with mediums such as social media and TV advertising, a direct message, person to person is a powerful marketing channel.
If a customer asks what the company message is, or even has a question about the company message, and is met with a blank expression or confused answer, then this will have a lasting effect on the customer, and probably negative!
Simple communication within the business, which has minimal costs, is the simplest way to maximise your employees effectiveness when communicating to your client base. Internal emails, company meetings or internal marketing materials are all effective ways to ensure that your workforce know and understand your message.
If you have a company intranet, then utilise this medium to cascade the information regarding any changes to your employees. If you are providing your intranet within a SaaS solution then even your remote employees can be reached easily, and using a consistent message.
Something as simple as printing your company message onto office equipment or toys, and then passing these out to your staff, can reinforce the massage within your business. If your employees have a corporate desktop wallpaper or screensaver this can be updated and used to spread the message amongst your workforce.
So, don’t forget your workforce when launching a marketing campaign, re-branding or even just putting out a new message.