Nike uses Roger Federer, the United Nations uses Angelina Jolie and Tag Heuer uses Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Shahrukh Khan.
In these roles, they’re brand ambassadors, appointed by organisations to promote products and services and to create brand awareness. They’re meant to personify the organisation’s identity, values and positioning and to mirror the brand character of its products.
But this sort of endorsement usually comes with a very high price tag. Instead of spending millions of dollars hiring a celebrity, rather leverage the people on your payroll. They are powerful ambassadors for your organisation and every day, through their behaviour, they communicate your company’s brand values to your clients, prospects, partners, competitors, investors and suppliers.
Here are five ways on how to harness the power of your people:
1. Communicate your values and brand personality simply and clearly to everyone in the company. Be creative. Use numerous channels. Communicate again. And again.
2. Only hire people that reflect your corporate values. It’s much easier for them to understand, embody and deliver your values if they believe in them intrinsically.
3. Ensure that everyone understands that branding is the responsibility of every person in the organisation, not just the corporate communications and marketing department.
4. Treat every touch point with the market as a branding opportunity – from drivers delivering goods and sales executives preparing quotes, to receptionists assisting with enquiries and the CEO addressing an AGM.
5. Incorporate your company’s values into performance evaluation. Values are not ideals that appear on a poster on the wall, they are delivered through behaviour.