Smart entrepreneurs market to their own employees, too.
You probably spend a great deal of time telling clients and prospects about your company’s story. But if you want to build sales and increase market share, you also should take time to educate your internal audience.
Your people presumably came to work for you because they felt a connection with your brand. It’s imperative they never lose that connection.
Perhaps you have heard of the honeymoon stage? You know, the point in a new career path when all the rays of sunshine start to fade and reality starts to hit. Nearly every person has been there, and it typically occurs at the two-year mark—sometimes sooner. When employees feel disconnected from their work, they’ll start looking for the next opportunity.
The reality is your employees have no obligation to your brand unless they feel wholeheartedly committed to your mission and vision. It is up to you as a brand to keep your employees engaged, and it is not money that makes people happy—it is a sense of purpose. Always focus on telling your story. Namely, what is your company’s brand promise and exactly how will you deliver that promise?
There is something remarkable that happens when you have engaged employees: They enthusiastically start sharing the Kool-Aid with your customers. This enthusiasm is a significant result, because when your customers know your people are happy advocates, they are more inclined to support your brand.
Ideally, the storytelling will start before you even hire an employee. One particularly effective way to hire the right candidate is to create a list of your brand’s must-have candidate personality traits, along with hard skills and soft skills. After you have a solid list, create a list of questions that only these special candidates can answer correctly. This will allow you to instantly identify the right candidate.
For instance, if your ideal candidate needs to be organized but have the ability to adapt quickly, you might ask that person a “what would you do in this scenario?” question. Set the scenario up by use of a real obstacle encountered by your business.
Dedicate the new employee’s first day or week to brand immersion exercises. You could present short brand videos about your company, client presentations, a portfolio showcase or even site visits with your loyal clients. This first week should be fun and offer a stress-free environment for your hire.
Be sure to design these immersion efforts around your brand standards—teach new hires about everything from your brand colors to your strategy. More importantly, share the reasons why your brand standards serve a purpose at your organization. When expectations are set up front, you set your new hire up for success.
Tell Your Story Every Day
Even better, pick your most committed employees to spearhead this effort on your behalf. By doing so, you can keep those key “brand advocates” feeling the love, and in turn, they remain engaged. Enthusiasm is contagious!
Last but certainly not least, interweave these same sets of brand immersion strategies into your company’s daily operations. It could be something as simple as how your employees or customers are greeted when they walk into the building.
Make sure your brand is felt everywhere. Give your internal audience multiple places to be reminded of their purpose within your organization.