Corporate Eye

The Importance of Internal Brand Advocates

One of the concepts I teach in my books and at speaking engagements when I’m asked to talk about branding is the importance of creating internal brand advocates and giving them the freedom to talk about the brand they love and believe in.  Your employees are your most powerful brand advocates.  If they don’t believe in your brand promise, why should consumers?  Companies need to make sure their employees are not only educated about the brand image, message and promise but also that those employees have a reason to believe in it and want to talk about it.

I read an article from Ad Age today that talks about this very concept and it’s shocking to me that companies don’t understand that building internal brand advocates should be a strategic imperative, not just a social media marketing tactic that’s getting some buzz of late.  This is something that should be ingrained in the company culture, not an afterthought.

How many companies can you think of where the employees will not only talk about the company they work for but advocate it, defend it against negativity, and evangelize it?  There may have been a time when companies like Google might have been able to make such a claim, but it would be challenging to name good examples of companies that cultivate a sense of internal brand advocacy in everything they do today. While companies like Pizza Hut,, and Kraft have been using employees in commercials and marketing initiatives lately, how many of those employees are truly brand advocates?  That’s the real question.

So think about your own company and how much more powerful it could be if your employees truly believed in the brand promise.  The word-of-mouth marketing true internal brand advocates could generate is exponential.  It’s amazing all companies aren’t on the internal brand advocate train.

What do you think?  Leave a comment and share your thoughts about developing internal brand advocates.

Image: stock.xchng

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.