Company Representation Matters
When it comes to the reputation of a person, there is one rule that everyone follows, when they pass judgment. Who you associate with and their group behavior will determine how other people will define you. If someone catches a group of people doing good things, they will see anyone associated with them as good people. If they catch a group of people doing harmful things, they will lump that group of people into the category as harmful. That is the reason why most of today’s public see politicians as liars, policemen as violent, and teenagers as foolish.
The rational part of a person’s brain knows better than to assume that not all politicians are liars, or that all teenagers are stupid, but humans are emotional decision makers first. People are prone to creating bias. Even without full context. It is not a fair rule, and it takes a long time for a person to build a positive reputation over a negative one. But all things worthwhile will take the time and effort in order to succeed.
The same logic can be applied to companies, brands, and mascots. As long as a person can attribute a personality to a brand or a company, they will use the same judgment. And when a business starts to gain traction and a community starts to develop its product, influencers will start to appear. But how do you know who should represent your company? Nobody wants to stake the reputation of their company on someone that is a poor fit or is just unreputable. Today, I will focus on the traits that a company should look for when choosing to back a marketing influencer.
Does your Influencer Align with your Company Values?
Your influencer doesn’t have to believe everything that the owner of the company does, and does not have to approach certain things the same way. After all, people are different. And it takes a team of different people with different talents to make a company work. But, it is important for everyone that works for your company to have the same goals and mind. Especially the face of your company.
Is your company community minded? Are they about embracing diversity, being a child-friendly platform, or promoting creativity? When you are able to pin down your company’s values, you start to shape its identity. When you start to shape its identity you will be able to get a better idea of what kind of face to give your company.
Your influencer should be able to share and promote the values of your company in order to use their powers of influence marketing to give audiences the right impression of your business and its products.
Does your Influencer have an Understanding of Ethics and Social Responsibility?
This is one of the major lessons in hindsight that large companies and even some political groups are learning the hard way. If your marketing influencer has little understanding of just how seriously people take their actions, you should not use them as the spokesperson. If your marketing influencer does not have a clear understanding that people will associate their behavior with their sponsors, you should not endorse them. Your prospective endorsee’s first reaction to criticism about making openly racist slurs on social media is “It’s just a prank, bro” then you should not be dumping millions of dollars from your advertising budget to have them represent your brand!
If you expect to have workers in retail to be polite, you should at least expect the very same from your marketing influencer.
That is why Youtube as a brand and company is going through a serious reputation scandal, and why Fox News has lost many advertisers before they fired Bill O’Riley. These scandals all came to light within the time frame of late last year to early this year. Even more of them are coming to light because companies are focusing on excusing bad behavior instead of cleaning house.
If you want to avoid this sort of fiasco while your business is growing, you should have the foresight as a company to react appropriately to that behavior and nip it in the bud. When your company is in the middle of the hiring process pay attention to what they are doing with their influence already. Should they be using their influence to brag about their income, or treat other people with open disrespect, then they are a walking talking PR disaster waiting to happen.
Does your Influencer Understand your Product/Service?
Anyone popular can stand in front of a camera, hold something up and say “Buy this”. But let’s be real with ourselves. If that tactic worked today, we wouldn’t be spending so much money on
marketing research. Popularity alone doesn’t sell. People are emotionally attached to what they want to buy. People only buy what they believe works.
And if a marketing influencer is involved in the persuasion process, then they need give off the natural impression that they believe in the product they are selling. The more they believe in what they are sponsoring, and the more they can convey that to an audience, the more the audience has faith in their purchase making decision. It would be an added bonus and excellent boon to your company if you are able to find an influencer that:
- Actually believes in what they are selling.
- Are able to explain the product to someone outside of their target demographic.