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Your Brand: You, Your Customers and Employees

(Posted on Mar 6, 2014 at 03:49PM )
Picture Taking care of the people that take care of you can reap big rewards when showing your customers and employees that you care for and appreciate them. There is no better or more economical way to accomplish this than with an onsite social community that can be successfully accomplished in any organization.

For example Lululemon produces sports apparel for women that is fashionable, environmentally friendly, and as technically advanced as sports apparel for men. The company spends virtually nothing on advertising. Instead, they build product awareness and forge ties with local communities through the community portal on their website.

They are encouraged to apply to become Lululemon ambassadors, “unique individuals … who embody the Lululemon lifestyle and live our culture.” The company now has over 200 stores, and sales soared from US $40 million to US $1.37 billion in eight years. In the US alone, sales grew 40 percent in 2012.

The following article by Michelle Killebrew, Are You Ignoring Your Best Brand Advocates?,  tells us what empowering your employees can accomplish for your organization and the growing need to recognize all the things that they do and can do for your organization.

One reason this is such a powerful strategy is that it provides you with a way to leverage your entire customer and employee base. One of the most powerful ways to spread your message on social networks is to get customers to share news of their purchase from you. The message may be delivered on the social network, but it originates on your site. Community provides an effective mechanism on your site to encourage purchase-sharing and by showing your customer and employee centric culture.

If you limit your social strategy to the social networks, you are missing the chance to leverage Social when it will help you most. You know that many of your shoppers are also going to your competitors’ sites. Why wouldn’t you give yourself the advantage of showing those shoppers that their friends, friends of friends and neighbors shop with you?

An onsite community strategy is all about connecting you with the social networks to improve the shopping experience for your customers and the bottom line for you. To fully deliver on the value promise of social networks, the information needs to be able to flow in both directions.

William Cosgrove
Bill Cosgrove Straight Talk