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Foot Locker recently announced a new development to its collaborative relationship with Nike – creating an optimized in-store customer experience through the addition of two popular pop-up shop apps. The Sneakeasy NYC and House of Hoops apps offer fans early access to Nike and Jordan gear through social media interaction, online reservations, and VIP/PLUS membership. This joint effort to enhance the consumer experience is predicated on employee advocacy and brand awareness.
Employee advocacy has become one of the most applied concepts in the modern business world, as demonstrated by the most recent expansion to the Foot Locker and Nike partnership. It is vital that the correct staff be enlisted, as they must demonstrate both enthusiasm towards the products they are selling and pride for the brand they are representing. Nike and Foot Locker have labeled their workers for this project “Nike Pro Athletes” and “Nike Pro Leads” – emphasizing the priority placed on employee advocacy and brand awareness.
The employee advocacy initiative suggests businesses recognize their personnel as brand ambassadors, since they are the ones working closely with the products and services they develop and sell. It is exceedingly imperative for an employee to feel connected to the brand they represent, as they will be much more inclined to promote that brand; due to the fact that it symbolizes an extension of their own personal identity.
Employees have certainly become dynamic marketing tools, utilized to promote brand identity and better connect consumers with the businesses they are patronizing. The concept applies to all businesses, regardless of product or customer base; employees are becoming major parts of marketing initiatives, largely because they are a previously unheard voice that comes with an inherent level of trust.
More than 2/3 of our population gets their news and information on social media; amplifying visibility on these channels is a must.
Employee advocacy works because people are more likely to take action when a recommendation comes from a trusted source. According to Social Media Today, content shared by employees receives 8X more engagement than content shared by brand channels. Unlike advertising and paid influencer marketing, employee advocacy is an organic, natural extension of 1-on-1 digital communications.
Key messages, delivered by a friend, colleague, or connection, are naturally more trustworthy than a company post – sponsored or not. Simply put, personal recommendations have a shaping influence that cannot be matched by paid-for, subjective advertisements.
CEI, which stands for connect-engage-influence, is a customizable platform that allows communications and marketing teams maximize the value of the content they create and raise its organic visibility across social forums, including LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram – with a single click.
Customers referred by advocates have a 37% higher retention rate. Interested in learning more? Send us an email at [email protected] with Employee Advocacy in the subject line to tap into your most under utilized branding resource, and to give your brand a shaping influence!