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16 February 2016

Trust Barometer 2016: Employees as Brand Ambassadors

Corporate Reputation, Employee Engagement, Trust

The 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer shows employees are the most trusted category when sharing information about areas such as company operations & finances, business practices and treatment of fellow employees or customers. In fact, they are more credible than Government & NGO representatives, Company Boards and CEOs.

With noise louder than ever, this is an untapped opportunity to make your message heard and increase sales, especially since consumers are more likely to buy the products/services of a company they trust. However, employees are under-represented in marketing communications.

percent who engage

How can employees build trust in a brand?

Since employees have a strong influence on how their employer is perceived, they can act as authoritative advocates/detractors of the brand. The question is what can an employer do to shift employees’ perceptions so they are more likely to be advocates? One option is to invest resources in tackling societal issues. This has a positive impact on employees recommending their company as an employer (+25) and employee retention (+22) but also motivates the employee to perform (+22) and, most importantly, recommend products and services to others (+21).

societal issues

How to build business – consumer relationships based on trust?

Building trust takes time. Communication needs to be honest and crafted into a story that engages the audience. There are a number of elements that should be taken into consideration when creating a marketing communications strategy:

1.When developing a marketing communication strategy, aim to put employees at the core of the business and ensure they have the opportunity to become publicly visible Brand Ambassadors. For example, Purina’s* website has banners showing employees that fulfil this brand leadership role.
2. Offer employers the opportunity to participate in content creation and present something they are passionate of doing, linking it to company activities. A good example is Unilever* which has used Facebook to show how one of their employees is “contributing to the greater good”.
3. Demonstrating “social issue engagement” is a good general theme to talk about but it’s important that you understand what your target audience’s interests are, especially if you’re active in multiple markets.

To view the full UK findings of the Edelman Trust Barometer 2016, click here.

*Edelman client

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