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Companies need to socially engage employees to define brand persona

Most companies are lagging in the adoption and use of digital channels for real-time engagement with their employees and partners. Furthermore, most are not taking full advantage of social media platforms, mobile devices and instant messaging technologies to crowdsource and share employee-inspired content, a new global CMO Council report highlighted.

Few companies have mastered the ability to engage their entire organisation to deliver a truly unified, authentic and consistent customer experience that underscores the brand claim.

Almost 90 per cent of the marketing and HR leaders surveyed see brand persona as essential, very important or moderately valuable to attracting new hires and building a lasting relationship with customers. However, only 62 per cent of respondents report having a formal brand platform that defines shared values, ethics and collective buy-in to a singular value proposition.

While only 37 per cent of the respondents say they have a well-defined corporate culture that is universally embraced by the organisation, more than half of the survey participants consider their brand personality to be fully embodied or very well reflected in their people and workplace.

“Organisations have long struggled to instill shared values, behaviours and ethics that embody and validate brand platforms, personalities and promises. A tighter linkage between the CMO and the CHRO should be strongly centered on organisational branding and creating cultures that radiate and reinforce core brand attributes and aspirations,” points out Donovan Neale-May, Executive Director of the CMO Council.

While traditional internal communications practices among organisations were highly prevalent, there was only limited adoption of transformational digital technologies, including private social media networks, instant messaging systems, online learning and certification, mobile social branding platforms, and internal TV or video streaming networks.

Half of the survey participants said they would be interested in piloting or learning more about a social media platform for real-time, employee-inspired branding.

According to the study, crowdsourcing employee or partner-contributed social media content will help in:

• Turning employees into active advocates and brand champions (50 per cent)
• Reinforcing brand authenticity and corporate credibility (41 per cent)
• Unifying, engaging and activating the organisation (40 per cent)
• Gaining visibility and recognition for employee effort (30 per cent)
• Humanising the organisation to customers, partners and the world (28 per cent)

Mr Neale-May notes that enabling platforms and solutions that leverage the reach and vibrancy of private and public social media networks can do much to engage employees and key stakeholders in a dynamic and directed process to express and underscore the essence of a brand and the culture of a company.

Danny Gordon, CEO and founder of CultureSphere, which has developed a social platform for the production, consumption and viral circulation of ‘employee-inspired media’ says on the findings of the study, “Celebrating achievements, big and small, is a real priority for most companies of all sizes. It helps motivate and energise the organisation, and it does much to reinforce the culture and commitment of the company to employees, partners and customers.”

Mike Dulworth, President and CEO of Executive Networks Inc., which manages 15 global 1,000 HR peer networks adds,“Big changes are underway in the make-up of the workforce and the requirements to satisfy younger, social media-minded and technically savvy workers. Millennials, also known as Generation Y, are entering the workplace in record numbers. They are idealistic, diverse, digitally enabled, social and perhaps most importantly, ambitious.”

Shubhi Tandon

Shubhi Tandon is the Assistant Editor at Digital Market Asia. Fascinated by the evolving digital media industry, she has focussed on tracking developments in the Asia Pacific market since 2014.