The benefits of a strong brand are tremendous. Brands are not built by a marketing team or an advertising campaign alone. It is the responsibility of every employee in every department. From the friendly receptionist to the highly paid consultant who delivers phenomenal solutions to clients. Employees have a role to play and can directly impact a business’s brand equity. They make a key contribution to the brand when they differentiate the brand from the competitors through their skills, knowledge and behaviours. Brand differentiation is what ultimately drives loyal clients to keep coming back and is often directly connected to employees.

While brand differentiators are often employees who come into contact with clients, any employee in any department is a brand ambassador. Brand ambassadors send a message to everyone through each action they take and every statement they make about the brand. Hiring the right people and retaining them through an employee-friendly culture is once again key to building brand equity.

Here are some steps you can take to ensure that employees will become the brand differentiators and ambassadors that increase the overall brand equity of the business.

Appoint only those that fit best
When your employees can be their ‘true best selves’ in the workplace, productivity and retention increase. Strive to be the employer of choice and attract employees in such a way that they will feel genuinely drawn to your brand.

Training and personal development
The best business will not just train employees to satisfy clients, but will train them to go further on a personal level. Employees are motivated by intrinsic factors like personal growth, working for a common purpose, and being part of a larger process, rather than simply focusing on extrinsic factors such as pay and benefits.

Listen to employees
It is no good mentioning the advantage of a brand if employees disagree. Employees should be consulted on the brand’s strengths and weaknesses — and steps should be taken to ensure that all employees believe in their brand.

Keep their commitment
One way to keep employees committed is to celebrate their contributions. Another way is to ensure that employees collaborate and support each other. Employees rarely look forward to coming to a workplace in which they face antagonistic co-workers or managers.

Identify employees that are enhancing your brand equity
There are many ways in which employees increase brand equity – delivering excellent client service or managers who effectively increase the skills. Identify the employees who represent your brand best: these are the employees you want to look after and keep.

 Communicate continuously
Helping your employees unearth their greatest strengths and integrate them into everything they do is essential to your success and the success of your team. Never let your employees forget that they are the brand.

Make the brand promise clear
Ensure that employees are fully aware of the brand positioning and differentiation. How can your team deliver on the corporate brand promise if they are not clear about what it is? Educate your employees on the brand and live the brand so they can learn from your example.

Each individual needs to determine how he or she can deliver on the corporate brand promise in a way that’s authentic, leveraging the corporate identity with what ignites them and makes them exceptional. A consistent brand does not emerge from conformist employees. When a client interacts with one of your high-contact employees, or with the work produced by your behind-the-scenes employees, everything the marketing team has done will be put to the test. All employees themselves become elements of the brand and the greatest existing resource within any organisation.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein.

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