Your people as the face of your brand

Text100’s UK Deputy DM, Sam Theobald, reflects on the ability for people to disrupt on social media in a recap of one of our events from London Social Media Week.

Text100’s UK Deputy DM, Sam Theobald, reflects on the ability for people to disrupt on social media in a recap of one of our events from London Social Media Week.

Brands don’t disrupt, people disrupt. It’s a concept that’s really resonating with Text100’s UK Deputy DM, Sam Theobald, as she reflects on one of two successful events hosted by the London office as part of London Social Media Week…

I recently read that brands don’t disrupt, people disrupt. For me, that resonates and supports the theory that every brand is only as good as the people behind it. Last Tuesday, we hosted a Social Media Week event at Text100’s London office that focused on this idea of “Your people being the face of your brand.” How do you mobilize a workforce to really advocate for the brand they are working for?

According to Pam Herries from John Lewis, it is all about setting expectations and giving people a purpose to align to. John Lewis is quite unique in the way it runs an organization. Its people are partners and they run a democratic process when it comes to decision making. With 90,000-plus partners, it was fascinating to hear how John Lewis manages to build internal communities, keep partners informed, and generally encourage its people to live the ethos of the brand. There are no fancy platforms or tools; it’s all about transparency, reward, and a joint sense of purpose.

Similarly, Richard Parkinson, Global Client Services Director of Text100, spoke of his work with SunTrust Bank and how building its brand is all about using “teammates” as ambassadors.  Like John Lewis, at the heart of the program is a clear sense of purpose – what is the brand trying to achieve? Being a highly regulated industry, you would assume it difficult to give your people too much freedom when it comes to talking about the brand, but that isn’t the case.

Providing clear guidelines at SunTrust has ensured people feel safe and secure when sharing the brand’s purpose via social media and SunTrust has managed to really kick start its onUp movement to help Americans move from financial stress to financial freedom.

Social media is really just another channel for your people to share their thoughts with the market and to build communities within your organization. Without a purpose to strive for, they have nothing to unify them. Start with a strong purpose that your people feel passionate about and they will advocate on your behalf.

Click to watch highlights from the event

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