The key to becoming an influential brand

Imagine if your Credit Union was one that had a direct effect on the behavior and financial decisions of consumers. What better way to build loyalty than for an organization to be able to shape the opinions and actions of their market, right?

Influencer (noun): someone who affects or changes the way that people behave.

Think about the people and companies who may have influenced you and your behaviors over the years. Take a moment and make a list. What do they all have in common?

Likely they all share similar attributes like confidence, brand consistency, and enthusiasm.

Read on for some ways you can position you or your organization as an influencer in any market.

Don’t DO social, BE social

One of the biggest mistakes of any organization is placing too much emphasis on “doing social media,” when if you spent more time being social within the community and within social platforms (being proactive rather than reactive), the results would show for themselves.

Engage

Whether in-branch or online, find ways to engage on a deeper level with your consumer. This means not only responding, liking, and sharing on social, but also being present when interacting with the consumer in person. Teach your staff to practice empathy and active listening before you teach sales skills. The more focus you put on developing relationships, the more trust your members will place with you, and trust equals influence.

Live your brand

Be authentically you, and let your staff be authentically themselves. Setting brand standards is a good start, but simply posting a few values on the wall isn’t going to cut it. Train your staff to animate your brand in every action and interaction they have with members and with one another. This means ensuring each and every employee knows how their role should be performed to live up to the brand promise, and how their interpretation of the brand will affect members and the bottom line. Some of the top brand influencers in the world share in the fact that they never deviate from the brand value proposition. From the CEO to part-time staff, each and every person knows how to live the brand.

Be a great storyteller

People don’t buy features and benefits, they buy stories. Your stories create connections with consumers on a deeper level than standard marketing tactics. By telling your brand story and sharing member stories, you’re creating invaluable emotional connections between your members and your brand. Good storytelling that creates the ultimate connection are those that aren’t necessarily about you, your products, or features, they are stories about emotions, experiences, needs and wants.

Recognize greatness in others

The 2012 GloboForce Employee Recognition Survey found that organizations with strategic recognition programs in place exhibit 28.6% lower frustration levels than companies without recognition programs. It’s simple; recognition motivates, motivation drives productivity, and productivity creates revenue. Recognizing and empowering your staff to think and act on behalf of the member, and to make member-centric decisions will go farther than you’d imagine when it comes to influencing the behavior of members. We’re all familiar with the phrase “Happy wife, happy life” right? The same stands true when it comes to your employees. Recognizing greatness in your staff will promote positivity from the ground up, which translates directly to member relationships and perception of the organization as a financial influencer.

Hilary Reed

Hilary Reed

Hilary Reed, founder of Empower Strategic Solutions, is an innovative thought-leader who has been involved in various aspects of strategic sales and marketing for 15 years. Her career began in ... Web: www.empower-strategies.com Details

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