We all know employees can be both brand ambassadors and brand detractors. But what we haven’t wrapped our heads around is that they are also our most important co-branding opportunity.
Corporate co-branding is a marketing staple: Companies co-brand with one another (Apple + Nike; Betty Crocker + Hershey’s; Dell + Intel); for-profits co-brand with non-profits (Nestle + The Girl Scouts; Pampers + UNICEF; American Express, Apple, Converse, etc. + The Global Fund – RED); and all of the above co-brand with movies, music, and sports (Aston Martin + James Bond; PINK + NFL; Apple + U2).
But in this ever-evolving world of social media – where almost everyone is thinking about how to “brand” himself or herself personally over social media – organizations can leverage the trend as their biggest co-branding opportunity of all. In other words, since there is no stopping the personal branding efforts of employees on social media, if you can’t beat them, you might as well join them.