Most CEOs when asked the following question, can’t answer it in a short, concrete, and memorable way: “I want to recommend your business to friends. What should I tell them you do and why you do it better?” Having a memorable and concrete benefit that all stakeholders can consistently recall is essential. It ensures there’s alignment throughout the organization against the same objectives and that your product/solution pays off the message in your ad campaigns.
However, it’s just not organizational alignment that’s at stake. If the CEO can’t communicate the brand benefit effectively, it’s not likely anyone else in the company can. Which means the company is not capitalizing on the opportunity for brand advocacy that its employees, board members, and suppliers – all its brand stakeholders -- represent.
Every brand stakeholder is a brand touchpoint with increasing reach. Employees are now connected to 10x more people than your brand. (1) Further, brand messages shared by employees are 24x more likely to be re-shared than brand messages shared by the brand. (2) As a result, brand messages shared through employees have a 561% greater reach than those shared through brand social channels. (3) So it’s no surprise that companies that have formal employee advocacy programs outperform those that don’t. (4)
At this point, you might be thinking, “as long as our employees are saying something positive, do I care that they say something different than what I would say?
Yes and no. Consistency builds trust. Think about it. When you hear 2 different stories about a situation, do you trust your sources? Which one do you believe? Which one do you remember? Consistency also acts like a megaphone. A consistent message makes the message more likely to be remembered and more likely to be repeated and talked about. While consistency is vital, you also want to make sure that your brand message is expressed in a conversational tone so that it doesn't sound robotic when shared by employees.
Do you have specific language to describe what your company does and why it does it better? Is it conversational? Let’s find out. At your next meeting, ask your team to pull out a piece of paper and write down your brand benefit. Then read aloud what they've written, without attribution. How many answers do you get? Do the same at your next board meeting. How many board members describe your business and benefit the same way?
Is the problem with your benefit statement, the lack of a formal advocacy program, or both? Not sure? Call me for a free 45-minute consultation. I can help you activate your brand stakeholders more effectively.
(1) MSL Group
(2) MSL Group
(3) MSL Group
(4) MSL Group, Marketing Advisory Group, Aberdeen Group