Brand advocates are a big deal today. Brands court their favor and they should, since an advocate will go out of her way to help spread the good word about a product or service that they love.
Of course, many of a brand’s best advocates are found withing the organization itself. A new study of 680 working professionals between 30 – 50 years of age by The Brand Union (a WPP shop) demonstrates that “the most profitable, productive and loyal employees are emotionally engaged employees.”
According to the study brand champions ranked employers 35% higher than non-champions in emotional areas like ethics and management versus functional areas like sound financials (12%) or having quality products (16%).
The Brand Union also offers these strategies to increase engagement:
- Be explicit about how an employee’s work impacts brand and business strategy
- Foster a corporate culture where open sharing of information throughout the organization is the norm
- Be very clear about opportunities for advancement
- Conduct regular reviews, brand training sessions and maintain an active intranet or extranet
Since a brand is the culmination of all experiences one has with a company, those of us who build brands for a living need to stretch far past making ads to dwell in the higher realm of brand and company culture. Why? Because it’s bad business to make compelling communications that create a positive impression for a company, when the reality of the company is something different.
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