Marketers across the globe are tapping into the idea of power from the people. And not just power from clients and consumers, but power from the inside. Branding power straight from the coalface. Their people – team members and employees of all levels.
Today, successful brands must move with singular purpose informed by a cohesive strategy to create meaningful connections with their audience. Leadership must take charge and truly live the brand values. They must also cascade those values down to every individual within the organization. With the right people in place, the brand story can be told with authenticity.
As social media enters its second generation, the vocal power of individual employees via Linkedin, Twitter and all other platforms to create and represent the brand experience is one of the most powerful marketing tools an organisation can activate. And, in an environment of ever-decreasing marketing spend, activating the voice of your employees is a cost-effective amplification of your brand.
Let’s talk nitty gritty. Rackspace is a business that has evolved from offering a single hosting service in 1998 to becoming a comprehensive IT management firm today. By managing apps, data, security and multiple clouds, Rackspace help customers get to the cloud, innovate with new technologies and maximise their IT investments. Rackspace has been honoured by Fortune, Forbes, Glassdoor and in Australia have been in the top 10 Best Places to work for the last seven years.
Phew. But what does that actually mean for employees? And what does that mean for company branding?
Well, Rackspace is passionate about their employees. And this passion is what facilitates bringing their brand story to life. They run regular company culture events and the Rack Gives Back program which embeds the value of getting behind others.
Rack Gives Back is where staff are given time off to donate to charities and environment groups. This year so far they’ve hired kayaks to cleanup Sydney Harbour. Last year involved donating toys to the Barnardos Christmas appeal for kids, visits to the residents of Wesley Mission retirement home and time spent at the Too Good Co. domestic violence women’s shelter.
WHAT MAKES A BRAND STRONG
Logos. Media presence. A distinctive positioning. Promises and value systems are all important brand foundations, and essential for a compelling brand delivery, however, ultimately the value delivered to clients is provided by those at the forefront: the people.
The real power of people to drive up brand equity is often undervalued. Businesses are more likely to be focus on embedding their brand in the hearts and minds of their clients with an external engagement first, internal engagement second approach. But companies like Rackspace are leading the way, there is a shift in the tide.
POWER TO THE PEOPLE
People power is a strategy brands such as Virgin have been using for years to bolster their marketing reach and their revenue. By harnessing the potential of the people who know your brand better than even your most devoted customers, you can tap into a rich source of brand advocacy and fuel growth. At the same time, employee engagement is boosted, and as we all know, engaged employees have a vested interest in ‘their’ organisation’s success. They are aligned with the right messaging and vision. And they offer something much more important than greater productivity – positive employee energy.
Brand amplification via an organisation’s people is one of today’s essential ingredients in providing differentiation from competitors and having the edge on the scale of external footprint. The bulk of customer brand perception doesn’t depend on the ingenuity of your video marketing strategy or the quality of your products – it’s human interaction with customer service representatives, your employees at in-person events, email and live chat responses, and the content your employees are sharing about your brand.