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Pioneering Brand Strategist, Speaker, Author and Founder of Reach Personal Branding

William Arruda

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The Person Closest to the Customer Is the Company

Martin Luther King Jr. built a social movement around a dream of what equality really meant. Brands built on potential and possibilities go far. Non-profits have known it all along.  Work your mission through people who have a large circle of influence that they’re close to and they’ll deliver friends and funds. You see it in letter writing campaigns from friends and neighbors asking for your donation; or “lock up” fundraisers where they lock up someone with a large Rolodex who starts dialing for dollars;  to walks with “corporate chairs” delivering large teams of volunteers and friends to come to “kickoff” meetings garnering more companies to participate.3499927784_c566738402

Stock shows and rodeos are big in Texas. The programs teach students responsibility, finishing what they start, negotiation and showmanship along with relationship, people and life skills.  In the buyer’s ring, you’ll witness community people forge new friendships, explore ways to pool resources, work the room and their resources.

Friend raisers as important as fundraisers

This concept is not foreign to business.  Sometimes having the funds available to advertise and promote get in the way of creatively engaging who you know or who your employees know.  Non-Profits don’t have the luxury of big budgets, deep pockets or bailouts – they have gotten good at working through people.

Now, with current economics and the hyper-connectivity of businesses and consumers enterprises are finding that they need to be better at engaging employees and their circle of influence.  One could argue that with unemployment high that they can find any employee they want and cycle the position through a host of people ready, willing and able to do the job.   As employees vie for paid positions, companies vie for customers that will pay, refer friends, be loyal and spend more.

Knowing that you must work through the people closest to the clients and armed with the knowledge that third party testimonials, referrals and endorsements from someone to their own circle of influence are the strongest ways to exude the company brand promise and garner positive word of mouth. 

What can a company do to harness the power of a personal brand?

  • Know your company culture
  • Make sure the culture is communicated at every level
  • Match the need with the strength of the employee
  • Provide support and opportunities
  • Collaborate and engage every staff member
  • Give credit where credit is due
  • Remind your team in a positive manner that their behavior has significance
  • Provide messages that are portable
  • Recognize and appreciate

If you have more thoughts, would appreciate hearing from you!  Post as a comment below or post examples of great companies living their brand promise through and with their employee brands.

Cross-posted on TheBuzz101

Author:

Maria Elena Duron Maria Elena Duron | cheif buzz officer, speaker and coach is co-founder of #brandchat, a weekly conversation on Twitter.  Join us weekly as we discuss company and personal brands!

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More Stories By William Arruda

Dubbed 'The Personal Branding Guru’ by Entrepreneur magazine, William Arruda is a pioneering brand strategist, speaker, author and founder of Reach Personal Branding. He is credited with turning the concept of personal branding into a global industry.

William delivers keynotes and workshops on the transformative power of personal branding for some of the world’s most successful companies. He energizes and motivates his audiences—and his private clients include some of the world’s most influential leaders. As a thought-leader, William is a sought-after spokesperson on personal branding, social media and leadership. He has appeared on BBC TV, the Discovery Channel and Fox News Live and he’s been featured in countless publications, including Time Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and the New York Times. William is the coauthor of the bestselling book Career Distinction. He is a member of the International Coach Federation and the National Speakers Association. He holds a Master’s Degree in Education.