What does brand loyalty look like to you? Is it the hungry customer who chooses to drive 1 km further to go to McDonalds when there is a Jollibee next door? Is it the party goer who brings his own Coke to an event that only serves Pepsi? Is it the tech enthusiast who proudly brandishes his windows laptop to his Apple wielding friends? Is it the dad who buys the family’s second Honda car for his son instead of Toyota?
No matter where you look, we see brand loyalty. Everyone can naturally gravitate to a brand. But how can you make your consumers have this strong affinity for your company? While there are numerous marketing factors that bring about brand loyalty, there is one factor that is often overlooked. Brand Loyalty can begin with Employee Advocacy.
What is Employee Advocacy?
Employee Advocacy is the promotion of a brand by its own employees. These advocates generate positive exposure and brand awareness by representing their own company in the market. They recommend the brand, stand by its efforts, and proclaim their love for it. These employees possess brand loyalty.
Aren’t they the dream? The truth is, employees like these are hard to come by and companies that cause their employees to become advocates are even more rare. But it is not a lost cause, there are several ways you can turn the employees you have into your advocates.
Why does brand loyalty create advocates out of employees?
Employees that are loyal to your brand become advocates. Because of their relationship and kinship with the brand, they are most likely to speak loudly of it. Here are some factors on why brand loyalty brings out the advocates in your company.
1. Brand loyalty leans on emotional connection
While rational considerations of a brand (price, use, benefits, and the like) may be the initial factors that draw people to a brand, it is emotional connection that brings a strong attachment between people and the brand.
An employee may like their own brand if they see the benefit of such products/services but once they recognize that the brand shares their same passions, desires, personality, hopes, and visions, they create a bond with the brand that goes beyond mere rational considerations. A union is forged through emotional connection and when this happens to your employees, they will sing their praises of the brand to the market.
2. Brand loyalty includes brand ownership
Once this emotional connection is established, it must lead to brand ownership. The employees of your company must manifest brand loyalty in that they find unity in the vision, purpose, and goals of the brand.
This is something customers feel about brands they are loyal to. They see themselves in the brand as they realize their shared outlook. However, stirring this within your employees requires something more. Since they are already part of what makes the brand possible, they need to feel a sense of inclusivity. They need to feel like they are heard. They need to see that they can take part in the life of the brand. Once they recognize their involvement, they can take pride in the work they have created and let their friends and family know more about the brand they call their own.
3. Brand loyalty is sparked by conversation
In marketing, communication is key. If you want your employees to be loyal to your brand enough to speak about it to the public, you need to communicate clearly with them. Create an open line of communication where you can fully inform each employee about the movements of the company, the vision of the brand, and the endeavors that it is involved in. Once each employee is fully aware of what the brand is doing, it would be easier for your people to understand the brand from rational consideration to emotional connection. This allows them to come to informed conclusions about your brand that could lead them to brand loyalty.
The conversations made between the company and its employees are also the things that your employees may say about the brand to their social circles. When you inform your employees, as advocates, they will, in turn, inform their friends and family about the brand, generating more awareness and brand loyalty on a wider scope.
The outside is looking in
The market needs to see that those that know the most about your brand advocate for it. In a world that searches for a trustworthy source, who better to speak for your brand than the people behind it! Trust is the main commodity behind brand loyalty. Before we expect the market to give their unrelenting trust in your company, this has to be seen by those who are closest to the brand, your very own employees. That is why you need to build brand loyalty from within your company first. This is where we come in. Creating employee advocates is our expertise. Find out what we can do for you.