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Building Brand Chanpions

Engaging employees in the meaning of the brand and the thinking behind it is one of the best investments that a company can make. Organizational development consultants have long known that long-term success is directly influenced by the way employees share in their company’s culture—its values, stories, symbols, and heros. traditionally the CEO and the marketing department were the most visible brand champions—individuals who understood and could articulate a company’s core values, vision, and brand essence. Enlisting employees as brand champions builds on the underlying concept of aligning culture, behavior, and performance.

“It’s not just values, it’s the extensive sharing of them that makes a difference,” say Terrance Deal and Allan Kennedy in Corporate Cultures: The Rites and Rituals of Corporate Life. Companies all around the world are beginning to develop compelling ways of sharing the brand essence—from road shows to online branding tools and guides, to special events. What was once a standards and guidelines tool kit for creative firms has evolved into a brand-building tool for all employees.