To build your organization’s employee brand ambassadorship program ground-up you need to craft suitable objectives and a concrete plan. Your employees are the voices of the unified approach which articulates your brand story and why others must care. Therefore, defining the goals, articulating the opportunity, getting together the right team and managing expectations are all part of creating an effective program. Sharing a few important steps that will help you successfully build your initiative.
- Identify your core goal: Your organization is seeking to break into a new market, advancing the frontiers of a specific product category, merging with another entity, expanding presence of the offices, anticipating increased competition. Whatever be the reason, you need to define what your brand stands for and what the ambassador program will achieve.
- Define your advocacy strategy: How do you want your brand ambassadors to behave and feel about the brand? Do you need them to promote, position and prime certain events and activities? Do you plan to brief them ahead of any large company announcements? Your strategy needs to be aligned with your business goals. Your strategy can include employees who blog, tweet, market or speak at public forums on behalf of the company.
- Articulate the opportunity: How is the brand currently positioned? What does it stand for and how can the brand ambassadors support the opportunity? Remember that your ambassadors are your brand’s storytellers and to make an emotive connect they need to be educated and empowered to take the messages forward.
- Recruit your team: Why must you enlist rather than make it a ‘catch-all’? Most organizations have a mix of employees – those fully engaged, some partially connected, a few disengaged and another group who can do more damage than good. With such a mixed group the chances of you achieving success is highly unlikely.
- Make it aspirational: The brand ambassador program needs to be open and transparent and by having a clear approach to shortlist and select the group you can make it aspirational. Making it aspirational helps since it will inspire others to join the community.
- Report and measure success: Define your measures of success and advocacy. Employees who promote the brand need to be recognized and highlighted in your report. You can devise a reporting mechanism that helps keep leaders informed on the progress and impact. Share success stories of employees who have gone over and beyond to pitch the brand positively.
Ask what can the group do to enable the organization, how can they add value, what will it take to amplify the brand’s impact and what will the outcome look like. Overall, most programs will have at least a common goal of active advocacy and engagement for all those who join the initiative.
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