Content, content and yet more content – but also people, resources and corporate social responsibility. In short: substance.

We’re talking about it extensively and in all possible ways, “smoke and mirrors” no longer works, or rather it’s no longer sufficient. No brand, successful though it may be, has a long-term future if not supported by a strong “human” side.

Last week I told you about the role of consumers, whilst today I speak of employees, involved on the one hand in co-creation and brand development, on the other in employee advocacy, i.e. the work they carry out in the social media to enhance the corporate image. But let’s proceed step by step.

What does co-create mean?

If we try Wikipedia, we find out as follows: “Co-creation is a form of either a market or a business and marketing strategy emphasizing both the generation and the implementation of a corporate value shared with the customer”.

This concept, led to a higher or rather much more “enlightened” level, directly steps onto the corporate world, first of all involving the people, who become active part in the process of creating either the brand or specific services.

This is precisely the approach that, in my opinion (as well as in many others’, ed.), has contributed to the success of LUX* Resorts & Hotels, a luxury brand with a fresh and lively style. The renowned strong points recognized around the world and featuring a LUX* holiday – including the homemade ICI ice cream, the Wishing Tree, the outdoor Cinema Paradiso, the free London style telephone booth that really allows you to leave your cell phone at home, if you wish so, and yet the LUX* Café, developing the concept of checking in from a mere formality to a warm welcome – are nothing but the outcome of a forward-looking business plan.

You read it right: the ideas come from employees, who actively contribute to the making of a luxury offer actually able to make a difference, to go beyond the simple needs or the expectations of travellers, adding details that transform ordinary into extraordinary, always guaranteeing free choice.

Let’s now come to the second theme.

How much is employee advocacy profitable?

As recently as nine months ago Linkedin published interesting figures: the monitoring of 2,800 corporates gave evidence that a content was clicked twice as often when it got to be shared by an employee; while if it was posted by the corporate account the clicks got halved. Essentially an employee is today the first ambassador of a company, potentially becoming an influencer as well as an actual media.

Theoretically speaking it is easy. Yet many companies try and fail. Why? In the US for instance this is a very common practice, there are plenty of successful case histories, from Cisco to IBM, which also integrated gamification practices to incentive employees.

Why should an employee promote his company?

The reasons can be many, and with a good strategy employee advocacy can give great results, but first of all companies should ask themselves some questions: are there the ethical conditions for this to happen? Do my staff members feel appreciated? In purely value-terms, can I pass on to my employees what the difference we make is, compared to competitors?

Ilenia La Leggia

 

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