Updated January 31, 2017.
- How is your brand perceived by your key customers?
- How are you bringing awareness to your brand?
- Could you use help spreading the word about your awesome business, product or service?
- Is your marketing made up mostly of ‘selling’ tactics rather than word-of-mouth and referrals?
Brand Champions can help build your brand organically.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Your brand must first deliver excellent customer service and offer a product (or service) that provides VALUE to your clients. The trick is to do this with each and every business transaction, with authenticity, passion and dedication. This helps build TRUST.
Let’s get specific…
When I speak about ‘Brand Champions’ in this article, I am referring to champions specific to small businesses and ‘solopreneurs’ – seeing as that is the world in which I currently live and breathe.
What is a Brand Champion?
- someone who shares stories about your brand’s vision and values within your marketplace, on a consistent basis and with sincerity.
- someone who understands and embraces the power of your brand.
- someone with the passion and leadership to build your brand with consistent messaging that supports the company’s values.
- an immeasurably valuable resource in helping those who interact with your brand (both internally and externally) understand what you stand for.
Benefits of a Brand Champion:
- expands your brand reach
- maintains a consistent message
- builds brand recognition
TIP: Maintain a consistent design and marketing strategy: Ensure your logo standards are being met, maintain a consistent presence in the community via events and public interactions.
- fosters trust and sincerity (through testimonials and referrals)
brings a much needed human element to the business
- nurtures positive morale and collaboration within your company
Who can be a Brand Champion for your business?
- your clients
- other professionals within your network
My Brand Champions are mostly colleagues and clients. In fact, a majority of my business is generated by recommendations from past and present clients.
Some might call them brand ‘advocates’ or ‘ambassadors’ as they are external to my brand. Regardless of what you might call them, they are champions because they play a huge roll in expanding my reach and building recognition for my brand by writing testimonials for my website, posting positive comments on social media and providing referrals.
External Brand Champions
An external Brand Champion could play the role of ‘cheerleader’/’advocate’/’ambassador’ for your company – somebody who sees the VALUE in your business, product or service and willingly shares stories about it within their social and professional networks.
Let’s say you complete a project resulting in a happy, loyal, long-term client. Over time, you develop a relationship of mutual respect and because of this your client naturally spreads positive word-of-mouth for your brand. Most likely he will refer your company to other businesses, which results in a new client for you! And all of this, simply because you delivered on your brand’s promise – whatever that may be 🙂
Internal Brand Champions
For small business, internal Brand Champions are paramount to carrying out the promises of your brand. Every single person within your company MUST deliver in this area to maintain the integrity of your brand values.
Your internal champions should protect the integrity of your brand in the language they speak with customers and employees alike. After all, your brand is reflected in how employees and customers are treated. **Keep this top-of-mind at all times to ensure a positive perception of your brand.
One very important responsibility of an internal brand champion is to ensure your brand standards are maintained and controlled.
For example: Keeping brand & logo standards up-to-date and consistent, ensuring all instances of your logo are displayed and shared in compliance with your Brand Guidelines. I discuss The Purpose of Brand Guidelines in detail here.
Do YOU have a Brand Champion?
How have they helped your brand?
Feel free to share your stories and examples in the comments below.
My business thrives on Brand Champions. My main champions are past clients or people that have attended my seminars/workshops. Also other mom entrepreneurs have been very helpful in getting the word out about my business and I will be forever grateful.
I am so happy to hear your Brand Champion success story Brenda 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
We love our brand champions. Parents in particular have been great brand champions for us and have sent referrals our way. Thanks!
Brand Champions are wonderful! I find it so validating when we get a referral or mention from one of ours 🙂