Companies spend enormous sums of money to create, manage, and protect valuable brand assets: names, logos, web sites, and ad campaigns, to name a few. Another valuable brand asset that resides within organizations that goes under-utilized too often is the human resources that carry out the work of the firm: the employees. In today's highly connected world, individual employees can build personal brands to put a face on a company. The payoff is creating a relationship connection point with customers and other stakeholders.
This concept is discussed by Kaplan Mobray in a piece he wrote for Advertising Age. Mobray cites the impact of individuals like Kevin Carroll (Nike) and Keith Wyche (Pitney Bowes) who have positively impacted corporate brands by spreading their wings and sharing their expertise and passion with others. Strategies recommended to leverage employees' personal brand equity include having employees use social media like Twitter and Facebook and include key employees' names when managing search engine optimization and paid search.
Companies that are able to create visibility for employees (or leverage visibility they already have) are in effect creating additional brand associations for the corporate brand as well as building relationships with customers and others. It comes down to tapping an existing resource. Employees are not merely hired help that complete assigned tasks, they are your brand.
Link: Ad Age - "How to Turn High-Profile Employees Into Brand Ambassadors"
Labels: Brand Management, Internal Marketing, Social Media