CI Chatter

Marketing – You and your staff are your company

Marketing is about much more than a catchy slogan, good logo, and smart marketing ideas. Although all that helps and is a good way to sell products and services, you first need to address the face of your company. Who are the faces of your company? It may seem like a stupid question, but if you can’t answer it, chances are your other marketing won’t be as effective as it could be.

Yes, I know I’m not making much sense at the moment, but it will all start to make sense if you bare with me.

Your company is nothing without you and your staff, they are effectively what makes your company and what you stand for. Without them your company would not exist. Think about it…

Often in marketing we speak about why your company is different, what makes you better than all the others? Usually the response will be, we have a better product, or we’re cheaper, or our site is prettier. While all that may be true, the most unique part of your business will always be you and your staff as that will ALWAYS separate you from your competitors. If you don’t believe your people are better than your competitors, then you may as well go back to the drawing board and start again.

‘But Jason, I sell a physical product, as long as the product is good, the consumer doesn’t care about the people that make it’. Thank you for sharing that thought, but you’re wrong. Chances are you would have in some point in your life touched an Apple or Microsoft product, yes? Of course you have, knowingly or not. It’s no mistake that they are 2 of the biggest companies in the world. Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple and Bill Gates, the ex CEO of Microsoft are two of the most famous faces that are linked directly to a brand. If I was to talk to you about Steve Jobs, you would immediately think of Apple, the same goes for Microsoft. Why are their faces so important though? It’s because they believe in their brand, the staff in their brand and their brands products so much that they have been willing to put their personal reputation on the line for it. If you’re not willing to do the same, do you truly believe your product is better?

I know I’ve probably provoked a fair bit of thought, and if you can stand up and say ‘my people are better’ we can proceed on a few simple ways you can start to make you and your staff put their personality to your brand.

1. Show us who they are.

This is really simple, just show us who they are. You could do that by adding an “Our People” page to your site with pictures of your staff members, their names and what they do. We don’t need an essay on them, just show us they exist. Although it seems a bit tacky and outdated, it actually subliminally gives people confidence in your brand as they can see the staff you have and that you believe in them enough to show us who they are.

2. Let them speak.

Probably the best way to bridge the gap between your staff and your customers is via a blog much like this one you’re reading now. It’s a great way for your staff to voice their thoughts and connect with the outside world. The most important part to remember about the blog is to write it with personality. It is way too tempting to write a boring professional format blog post on a business blog, but it completely defeats the purpose. Let your personality shine as that is what is key to making you and your staff be individual as well as making the posts interesting to read.

3. Marketing campaigns.

There are so many ways to let you and your staff’s personality shine through marketing campaigns. Whether it be you running around your plant farm in a tutu, a weekly video blog by your staff, a podcast with your staff, or a friendly photo of all your staff on a postcard you send to customers saying thank you. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it has personality, people will find it much easier to connect with your brand.

4. Get social.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, whatever you’re feeling. Social media is a great way to let your personality shine. If you’re posting boring announcements and not getting people involved, you’re doing it wrong and need to re-plan your social media strategy. Give your posts personality and ask people to respond to your posts, social media is all about connecting with people, so don’t just talk to them… Encourage them to talk back.

In conclusion, you need to love the people that make up your brand, get them involved and let them speak. Show off the personality, your not friends with your friends because they look good, it’s because of their personality. People are more likely to buy from you if they feel they have a connection with you and your people, no matter how good or bad your product is.

So do you believe in you and your staff? Do you believe in them enough to put them in front of your brand?

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