Creating customer brand engagement is crucial to any business - not only to be able to understand, design and sustain the customer journey. It`s about meeting existing and potential customers craving to "buy-in" on your brand values, more than your product.
Your products and services alone, your corporate channels, ads and promos, doesn't cut it anymore. Customers' wants to hear, understand and believe in your story - your DNA.
They want to experience that you are more than just another brand - and to fit with their expectations is a key driver when deciding to go with you - and not the competition.
The quick fix doesn't work...
Many companies have realized - and felt - customers' disloyalty, as they haven't met their expectations in letting them in on the DNA of the company. In comes the "quick fix" where Marketing and Comms writes up a half hearted "story", defines some random "feel good" values (mostly copied from their competitors), and then pushes it through the same channels as their ads and promos...only to find out that their customers aren't as stupid as they thought they were...
Are your brand story playing hide and seek ?
In the eye of the customer, your ads and promos have become - at best clutter - at worst noise. Inviting your new neighbours to your cluttered and noisy home isn't the best start to a relationship..
All companies have a story, a DNA, that can vastly support customer brand engagement, but hiding it behind ads, promos and corporate channels only - makes it difficult for even the most eager prospect to find out if your story fits his or her expectations and align with their values.
Have your brand take a selfie!
..with the customer perspective filter on. Is your DNA equally represented alongside your ads, promos and corporate presence ? We all have an uncle, aunt, cousin etc. that is the undisputed master of photo bombing, or in some mysterious way seems to houdini themselves into all the pictures from the family gathering - is your DNA photo bombed by your logo ?
What`s your employee brand engagement score ?
Turning up to work every morning doesn't really count. But, including brand experiences to your employees on a continuous basis will lay the foundation of establishing and optimizing employee brand engagement. Simply to let them be in the know of "brand stuff" is a great starting point - and involving them in co-telling the story is even better.
For every employee that can tell your story, convey your values and vouch for your brand you will gain access to many more potential customers than your traditional branding will ever achieve.
The customers perspective
As customers, we remember engaged, service minded and knowledgable staff, more than the brand itself. It makes us want to engage with the experience and the value. It creates customer brand engagement.
It´s actually as simple as that. Engaged employees can positively influence the customer journey - dis-engaged and uninvolved employees wont.
In other words; without high employee brand engagement your customer brand engagement will suffer.
Where to start improving employee brand engagement ?
#1 Take out the "fear" of engaging
Most employees outside the brand/pr/marketing "inner circle", are not comfortable dealing with the "holy" brand. Make it clear that branding is everyones job. Involve and understand employees concerns, listen to their inputs - and help them understand your brand values.
#2 Keep your promises
Deliver content aligned with employee`s input - and allow for them to un-brand and personalize it.
#3 An apple a day...
Employee brand engagement is not a one time memo, it is not for the annual kick-off or a dreadful long power point presentation on the yearly vision/mission agenda...It's an everyday experience.
#4 No exclusions!
Employee brand engagement is everybody's game - not just the A-team.
#5 Prepare to be surprised ;-)
Diving into employee brand engagement is: "I have good news, and bad news"....Both are that you were right in doing it.