You don’t just fall in love with a brand. Like any relationship, there’s a get-to-know-you phase, then wooing, then commitment. But an unsupported brand cannot survive, especially without a loyal, internal crew who celebrates its victories and thinks twice before jumping ship when it fails.
If “customers, clients, fans, and followers” are your best brand evangelists, then your employees should be your best brand ambassadors.
Let’s be frank — the majority of our society works because they have to. Most folks would rather spend their days under a beachside cabana, given the choice. That’s why we take vacations. But vacations aren’t enough to encourage above-and-beyond performance on a daily basis. Life is chaotic and agendas are full, so attracting additional buy-in has to run deeper than that — and it takes work — even if your ideas are incredibly exciting.
If you want your team to really love you (and help you reach your goals), put them first, show them how to lend support, and let them live it out.
Invest In Your Team
Creating time to bond with your team, listen to their ideas, and conduct education and training sessions is crucial to the success of your core. Whether it’s providing opportunities to attend conferences or hosting a killer holiday party, by tying these efforts to your brand’s culture and the needs of your team, you’re protecting internal value.
Mattel provides “16 hours of paid time off for school-related absences like parent-teacher conferences or field trips” — a fitting perk from one of the largest toy manufacturers in the world. While providing something like onsite daycare is expected from that kind of employer, offering coverage for specific events that are often missed by parents due to work schedules is even better. By digging deeper into employee needs and coming up with a solution, Mattel establishes itself as an approachable, team-focused organization.
At Proof, we work remotely twice a week. Not only does that give us flexibility to stay in our pajamas every now and then, it’s truly designed to fuel our creative juices. Additionally, we look forward to Vision Quest, our biannual retreat where we shut down client work for a few days, brainstorm, set new goals, and just have fun together. These rejuvenation sessions remind us of our creative abilities, why hard work is worth it, and how we can count on each other to make our company stronger.
Teach Them Your Voice
Your employees represent who you are. If what you embody isn’t crystal clear, then you risk giving false or unfavorable impressions to your customers. Brand voice is carried through everything you do — social media, advertisements, emails, business meetings. It may seem silly to establish ground rules around things like appropriate language and tone, but those are the little elements that contribute to whether your organization sinks, swims, or just floats.
Warby Parker, an office favorite, loves using kitschy, descriptive phrases to promote their products. While they’re incredibly devoted to the spirit of giving, they know that customers have to want to buy the glasses first.
And a bubbly but smart persona is the perfect compliment to their designs. From “Bright On” — the description of their sunglasses collection on warbyparker.com — to the way they pair creative hooks and images on Twitter, Warby Parker works hard to maintain a consistent voice across brand efforts.
Carrying your voice over to less forward-facing platforms is equally critical. For our team, an upbeat, positive tone in client communications is a must. That may seem intuitive, but sometimes, it’s downright difficult to craft a chipper email. What helps us remember to exhibit optimism? Our homepage can tell you: “We craft purposeful, passionate brands.” And that’s what we try to embody on a daily basis. “Passion” is part of our collective voice, so, we know that, no matter what, it needs to be present.
Give Them A Chance
Ultimately, the success of any internal branding initiative depends on trust. Trust should naturally follow team investment and education, and should be at the core of how you operate as a whole.
Do you trust your team members will take a deep breath and not lose it on that very hard-to-love client? Do you trust they will work diligently in any capacity? Do you trust they will stay on-brand when pushing out content?
If the answer is “yes”, you’ve done your job, and you’ve got some badass ambassadors. Now, let them love you and help you take your brand to the next level.