In our private life we want all people who stand up for us.
If we’re lucky, it starts with our family and extends to our friends and significant other. In an ideal working environment, our managers will also stand up for us and help us climb the ladder.
There is nothing like having people on the sidelines cheering you on and standing up for you in the rooms you are not in.
As a business owner, you want that endorsement for your brand too.
This is where a brand champion comes in to promote your business and help increase your loyalty base.
Let’s see why you need a Brand Master, how to get one, and how to incorporate it into your marketing strategy.
What is a brand champion?
A brand champion is someone who is responsible for promoting your brand and building internal and / or external support for it. It is not a formal role and is not limited to one person. A brand champion can be a business owner, brand ambassador, chief brand officer, employee, and customer.
Depending on the size of your business, you can have one or more champions. Sometimes this role is embedded in the responsibilities of your employees.
For example, an employer brand specialist is responsible for promoting a company’s culture and benefits with external candidates. This is kind of a brand champion in and of itself, as their role is focused on promoting your brand.
The same goes for brand ambassadors who work with companies to promote them and generate leads.
A key difference is that ambassadors are usually contractually bound to promote your brand. Champions can be motivated to do so, but they are not required to celebrate your brand.
In a small company, the entrepreneur can be the brand master, motivating employees internally and networking externally in order to win more customers.
The most important takeaway is that anyone can be a brand champion, and the more champions your brand has, the stronger it will be.
How to become (and win) a brand champion
In order to become a brand champion, you need to have some key traits and traits. A brand champion should:
- Be passionate about the company.
- Know the vision, mission and values of the company.
- Invest in the brand’s long-term success and growth.
- You have the skills to lead growth initiatives.
- Stay on top of the most effective strategies to build brand loyalty among employees and consumers.
One place you might want to start your search for brand champions is in your people.
Studies show that how companies treat their employees plays a major role in how trustworthy they appear. Especially in times of crisis, consumers look at how brands deal with their own.
Encouraging your employees to become brand champions requires some structural implementations in your company.
You want an environment that creates happy employees because happy employees are great champions who build your brand without you asking for it.
It’s like loving a product that you just bought. You will find every opportunity to tell people how much you love it – even if you don’t have a 10% referral discount code.
Start by conducting regular employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) surveys. In this way you will find out how satisfied your employees are and how you can better support them. Once you’ve identified opportunities for improvement, it’s important to take steps so that your employees know that their voices are being heard and taken seriously.
If your company is publicly traded, consider offering Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) to your employees. RSUs are stocks given to employees as a form of compensation with a vesting plan that can range from one year to a few years after the employee’s start date.
Giving your employees an equity stake in your company enables you to keep them in your company and invest in its growth.
Other ways to make your employees brand champions include:
- Provision of professional development opportunities.
- Investing in diversity and inclusion initiatives such as employee resource groups (ERGs).
- Create psychological security.
How To Use Brand Champion Marketing
1. Invest in employer branding.
Employer branding is a form of marketing where the target audience is candidates who are interested in joining your company. However, it can create a very positive perception of your brand among consumers.
We mentioned the importance of employees in building brand trust. If consumers think that you are mistreating your employees or taking advantage of others, it can damage your brand image.
Your employer branding specialist is the person behind the strategies to showcase your internal brand champions.
At HubSpot, we have @HubSpotLife on Instagram, where we post employee hires, our culture code and more.
It’s an opportunity for our employees to tell the world what they love about working at HubSpot and share their personal experiences.
Employer branding is about giving people insight into the benefits of working in your company.
2. Boost the voices of your brand ambassadors.
Whether you are a small or large company, you probably know who your greatest account managers are.
You may know them by name or from data you’ve collected (like NPS surveys). These customers and loyalists are a gold mine when it comes to defending your business.
Chances are they are already doing it through word of mouth. Why not amplify their voices to maximize their impact?
One way to do this is to ask your evangelists to leave you reviews on sites like Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook.
If you’re running a campaign and want to include testimonials, reach out to your top supporters and ask them to take part. You can use the same testimonials for your website, landing pages, and more.
Another way to amplify your champions’ voices is to offer them custom referral codes. If your champion refers someone to your brand, they and the recipient will get a discount on their next purchase. And you win a new customer – a win-win-win situation.
3. Engage your brand champions on social media.
Think of your social media followers as brand champions in training.
They already like your brand, so they are following you. The more you maintain your relationship with them and build a community, the more loyal they become. After all, they will become your brand champions.
There are tons of ways to get your community engaged on social media, including:
- Reply to comments
- Create private groups
- Create polls and polls
- Performing questions and answers
- Go live with your followers
- Republishing of user-generated content
Brand champions do wonders for your public image by promoting your brand in a way that doesn’t feel like an advertisement. So promote these champions and use them to drive your brand’s growth.