Identifying the Right People to Grow Your Brand

April 28, 2011  |  

(Inc.) — It’s a speech we’ve heard time and time again: A corporate CEO or entrepreneur will take the stage and proclaim “Our greatest asset is not in our inventory or our sales or our products—but in our people.”

True, but times have changed. In order to fully realize—and leverage—an employee’s full value, a successful company needs to find creative ways to tap into its employees’ networks (both online and offline). Brand ambassadors, or employee evangelists, are becoming an increasingly common way for brands to leverage their biggest asset—their workforce, of course—to reach new markets, generate buzz, and put a real face on the company. They can be tweeters, bloggers, Facebookers—or they could just be the people you send to corporate events. More than your firm’s logo or an actor in your company’s commercial, your customers will come to know your ambassadors as true representatives for your business’s mission.

“The use of workers to humanize corporate entities has been a time-honored marketing tradition, of course,”writes Noreen O’Leary in AdWeek. “But in an era of Web 2.0 transparency, their visibility takes on greater meaning, signaling the higher importance of customer service in the marketing mix…staffers offer a kind of peer credibility as corporate advocates.”

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