In the midst of discussion between brand advocates, ambassadors and influencers, marketers should remember to take advantage of the tools that lie within the spaces of the office: the company’s employees. By harnessing internal power, you can build the members of your staff into brand champions — the most outspoken supporters who actively promote the beliefs and values of your brand.
This person should simultaneously hold numerous roles including:
- Guardian: The brand champion should protect against negative publicity and challenge non-believers. Additionally, this person should act as the troubleshooter, identifying problems and directing them to the appropriate fixers.
- Communicator: He or she should interpret the needs of consumers and convey them to the company, while delivering the brand promise.
- Visionary: Initiation of new ideas to maintain relevance and promote growth for the future of the company should come from the brand champion.
- Personification: This person should embody all aspects of the brand at all times.
- Teacher: He or she should have complete knowledge of what the brand’s values are and help educate and inform employees and customers. Growth cannot be achieved if the company’s own workers are drowning in confusion about the company’s mission.
- Supporter: The brand champion should consistently campaign the brand, spread its message whenever possible. He or she should encourage everyone affiliated — employees, current customers, potential clients — with the brand to believe in its values.
- Visionary: This person should initiate new ideas to maintain relevance and promote growth for the future of the company.
Some examples of people who have been noted as brand champions include Hugh Hefner for the Playboy franchise, J.K. Rowling for the Harry Potter series and the late Steve Jobs for Apple. These people are so recognizable in relation to their brand that they are usually one of the first visual images that come to mind upon hearing the brand name. This is because they have devoted their life to continually advocating for the brand, holding true to core values and protecting against negativity.
And though the aforementioned are just some of many people involved in the execution of the business, they are instrumental in motivating the rest of the company, some of which have direct, day-to-day contact with customers. Since much of public perception of companies comes from the people who work for it, the success of the company will be determined by the extent to which the employees convey the brand values — and that extent can be promoted by, you guessed it, brand champions.
While the brand champion may be the most vociferous campaigner of the company, he must be nurtured with support to succeed. Their role is to facilitate the transmission of the company’s core values, but ultimately every member should believe in the brand. Armed with passion, the brand champion has the potential to influence young members to become leaders and carry the company into the future.
Stayed tuned for our part II of this post, where we show you how brand champions can engage with potential influencers.