Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Are Your Employees Your Brand Ambassadors?

The genesis for this post is from an experience I had last night at a minor league baseball game. The park is beautiful, very fan and family friendly. Concessions used to be very reasonable now they are edging to the high-ish end. All the employees are friendly and helpful. The home team is a Class A club for a Major League team very far away. They are very heavy into Twitter and Facebook and do it pretty well. Though last night was Social Media Monday Night. Tweet Your Seat for a chance to win a bobble head doll ...of the state Governor. They already gave out 1500 of them. Seriously? That is not enough reason for me to tweet my seat. I tweeted to tell them their phone app sucks (what were you thinking ATT for making such a horrible app?)

Back to my story. My friend Cheryl Burgess at Blue Focus Marketing has been blogging for awhile about the Social Business. Her take which I agree on, is that all your employees represent your business whether they think so or not. Online and offline. They have potential to be your greatest brand ambassadors. If they are happy and treated as assets by a company they will pay you back every time they deal with customers, clients, vendors, each other. They will do this online and off. Now I recently bashed on someone writing about social business who failed to take into account the fact if employees are not paid well and 'it's just a job' to them, they will never be your brand ambassadors or by in to the social business ideal.

So last night two employees selling concessions. One had beer and peanuts. Peanuts was $4. Beer $3.75.

'Isn't anyone drinking? Peanuts $4. Oh I know they are over priced. But you are at the ball park and I have food for you' 

People laughed at his honesty. But I am not sure my feelings on this. To me I might reconsider some of my price points.

Another concessionaire in the seats walks by me. His shirt says 'Turning every visitor in a loyal fan' on the back. I asked him if he was doing that. He said 'Haha! no not me' 
Which said to me he isn't paid enough to truly buy in to this great purpose.

I say this often. With 98 or 99% of human communication private, you can not separate offline from online. You must consider how every employee and customer will feel about your business, products and brand. And make them your real brand ambassadors. I wonder how many of the 30 Trillion emails sent each year in the US contain discussions on businesses and products you will never see or hear with much more damaging results than anything said online. Or how many more visitors that concessionaire will not turn into a loyal fan in person while you see his one Tweet saying 'Go Team' has you snowed everything is fine in Happyville. If your employees are not happy offline they will never be your brand ambassadors online or anywhere.

What actions are you taking with your business and employees that ensure their offline and online presence is one of positive promotion of your brand, your products, and your mission?


  1. Walk the talk. Find out what makes each person tick, and give them opportunity to gain the rewards that are meaningful to them.

    For some, it's money (but not always). For others, it's flex time, or the ability to adjust their working schedule to accommodate everything from attending hockey/lacrosse practice (yes, I do have my bias:)to picking up the kids from school.

    Recognized behaviour gets repeated.
    Rewarded behaviour gets repeated.

    To have employees walk the talk, they need to have their WIIFM satisfied. Cheers! Kaarina

    1. Hi Kaarina

      Thank you for coming by and your input. I did a research team paper in college regarding is money a motivator. It was if there was small bonuses by yearly bonuses motivated less. Employee recognition was a better motivator.