Godin in Purple Cow draws a powerful analogy between black and white cows lining the fields of a country road and traditional marketing practices. Both are boring, ignored, no one pays any attention to them. He suggests that if a purple cow was to appear in the field, it would get the motorists to stop, take notice and be excited. It would make them take photos and tell their friends about it. Our new world of business demands differentiation, you must stand out and its increasingly becoming difficult based on product alone (unless you’re Apple). What would make your customers stop in their tracks and take notice of your company?
The secret no doubt lies in your people. They are your corporate identity; they influence perceptions about your brand. They humanize your business, cultivate powerful relationships and give your customers a compelling reason to do business with you. They hold the key to your brand success; they have a voice which has the capacity to speak more loudly than any marketing message.
What transforms an employee from a cog to a brand evangelist? What motivates her to uphold your organizational standards and reputation? What makes her so proud of her work that she shares her joy with the world?
The Silver Bullet…
Work is an important part of our life, it is who we are and what people associate us with. The challenge for the organization lies in getting the employees to bring themselves to work. This means creating an environment and balancing the need for control and desire for employees to express themselves. Employee expression enhances brand integrity and is this is probably the most organic form of marketing if there ever was. Your brand evangelists can heavily reinforce your organizational message in a way very different than traditional marketing practices.
You can start by educating and and defining guidelines for your employees. These are preliminary steps in empowering your brand evangelists to leverage your brand in a credible and responsible way.