There are endless benefits of building and maintaining a strong brand: customer recognition, competitive edge, customer loyalty and shared values, enhanced credibility and ease of purchase.
Ambassadors are essential for this. Enthusiastic advocates who help strengthen your brand by spreading their love for it. People who feel very positively about you and just want to share that feeling.
Now, you might be picturing ambassadors of companies such as Apple, Netflix or Amazon and think that your company doesn’t create the same feeling. But, listen: every company has ambassadors. They can be internal, such as proud employees, or external, such as customers or fans.
If you don’t know who your ambassadors are, it’s always good to start looking among your own colleagues or employees. Just look for these three features and you will easily identify your internal ambassadors:
- Good ambassadors know the brand’s values and what they entail. It’s essential that they understand how to display these values through concrete actions within the organization.
- Ambassadorship requires a degree of emotional involvement so your ambassadors should display responsibility, commitment, passion, enthusiasm and belief towards the brand.
- They don’t just feel attached, they also act accordingly. This normally translates into word-of-mouth. True ambassadors talk positively about the brand, recommend it to peers and convince others to follow their example.
So, where can these ambassadors be found inside your company?
According to Vlerick Business School’s research on employee brand ambassadorship, there are 5 types of employees you should take into account if you want to find and activate your best internal ambassadors:
- New employees who have just arrived at the organization and are excited about the new environment and challenges. The study shows that this type of employees are very likely to have positive attitudes towards the organization and are willing to share it.
- Senior employees that have been with the company for several years and, in this time, have built lots of in-house experience. Through the years, they have developed a strong bond with the employer and reached a stage where they have chosen to stay with the organization. This choice indicates a long-term positive attitude toward the organization.
- High ranked employees. As people climb the company ladder, they become more attached to the organization. Additionally, their status on the company drives them to talk positively about the organization and their role in it.
- Sales and marketing people. The study shows how these employees are more aware of the personal influence they have, which leads them to act accordingly and promote the brand.
- Great opportunities lie with front office staff like reception and service employees. These employees encounter all kinds of people from outside of the organization. These employees need to continuously display the organization’s values as they are in direct contact with customers. This can highly influence their attitude toward the organization transforming them into great promoters of the brand.
Finally, keep in mind that although these types of employees are more likely to become ambassadors, it’s equally important to engage your other employees.
- Internal ambassadors know and express the organization’s values.
- Ambassadorship implies an emotional connection.
- Higher ranked, new and senior employees are more likely to have positive attitudes toward the company.
- Employees in the sales and marketing department are aware of their influence and act accordingly.
- The front office staff is crucial in influencing attitudes towards the company.