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Steve Farnsworth is the Chief Digital Strategist at Jolt Digital Marketing where he consults mid to large organizations on communication strategies to create product preference and build customer communities that foster brand loyalty. With over 13 years as a senior executive, Steve writes, blogs, and speaks about how smart companies can effectively integrate social media, PR 2.0, and content marketing into their marketing mix. As a director with the Silicon Valley Brand Forum and an adviser to other professional organizations, Steve has moderated panels, spoken at or facilitated industry events at Intel, Yahoo!, HP, Sun Microsystems, Cisco, Adobe, Electronic Arts, Hewlett-Packard, and Stanford. In 2012, he Steve is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 26 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

How Do You Connect Employees And Their Passion To The Brand?

02.21.2013
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Often companies “roll out the new re-branding” to employees. and the marketing team then quickly puts a check mark in the done box and they’re on to the next. Often brand managers focus only on the communications deliverables and not the holistic reality of creating passionate brand ambassadors from within the company.

B2B, midsized companies, and especially tech companies are notorious for this painful disconnect. Not many companies are deeper tech than Xilinx. They design and supply programmable electronic systems. For simplicity just think semiconductors. Yet, they are a well branded company, which is unusual for their industry.

How Do They That Make That Happen?

They have warehouses full of uber smart engineers who are also passionate about the brand. One of the reasons is a concept that communications and branding pro Rachel Watkins‘ calls “Drawing a Line of Sight.” Engineers love creating their hard tech, but they are human, too. (Who knew?) They have the same need to understand how what they do impacts the real world. Xilinx has research to prove employees’ need for understanding their connection to the customer and the bigger picture.

Rachel is Xilinx’s Director of Internal Communications. She and her team look to make that connection for the employees. They seek out opportunities that let them see what they are a part of and the important things their work make happen.
Touching Mars

One of her team’s goals is to show employees that the technology or system they created enabled an advanced surgical robot to save lives, allowed the Mars Rover to travel across another planet, or even let millions of people back here on Earth talk to they people they love. This simple act ignites their passion for what they do. Now when a Xilinx’s employee is asked what they do at a party or backyard BBQ, they can talk about how they change peoples lives or ventured to other worlds.

Now, not every company has gadgets that have been shot into space or save lives, but all companies have a product or service that makes their customers’ lives better. If you don’t already know what that is for your company, you need to go talk to them right now! There is branding gold in those stories.

Reprinted with permission.

Published at DZone with permission of Steve Farnsworth, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)