Storymakers as brand ambassadors. -Building a community to transmit the brand's essence.
Coca-Cola European Partners
CCEP wanted to develop its own recognisable voice in the B2B market through its own employees. In a company where “love for the brand, innovation and culture have brought the turnover rate close to zero”, the objective was to transfer this reality to digital media.
From Brand Ambassadors to Storymakers.
In 2013, CCEP began to develop its first brand ambassadors program. At that time it was not yet evident to most brands, but CCEP was already empowering its most important asset: its own employees.
In 2019, given the need to strengthen even more the digital presence of its Ambassadors, we developed a training and employee voice programme to unlock their potential to transfer their experience, their corporate achievements and their vision of the corporate culture to social media.
This is how Storymakers was born.
The main objective of the project was clear: have employees share more and higher quality content in social media.
Nine basic pillars.
When developing digital brand advocacy or employee voice projects, at Good Rebels we work on a specific framework based on nine pillars. Over several months, we helped the CCEP team define the following models:
It was especially important that built a “movement” that would really make CCEP’s employees feel special.
With that intention in mind, we devised the Storymakers concept: a term that sounds familiar in the digital context (“Stories”) and that is associated with a certain epic component, which acts as a stimulus to enhance their activity. We worked hard to highlight the Storymakers not as spokespersons for the brand, but as a community with a special and self-managed sense of belonging, capable of transmitting the essence and values of the Coca-Cola brand –one of the most notorious and recognised in the world– through its social publications.
When we talk about love brands, it is common to find fear of exposing the brand to criticism or attacks, so employees opt for discretion or anonymity rather than showing their feelings of attachment to the brand or culture. So before we started, we had to make the co-worker aware that talking about the company never hurts in the long run.
We then defined the model for participation in the programme, which took the form of an internal campaign in which all employees were invited to participate, and we identified those who were already active. The ultimate goal: to have the first 200 digital brand ambassadors.
Reinforcing a sense of belonging.
In addition to a good pre-selection work, it was important to emphasise in the proposal to the future Storymaker the feeling of belonging, of attachment and of natural commitment to the project, as the employees should not perceive it as an additional workload or as a stressful responsibility.
This allowed us to rule out financial incentives, which hinder the development and growth of the project both in terms of scalability (recruiting many more ambassadors in the future) and decentralisation (independent functioning of the organisation in the future).
However, we would work on emotional rewards: visibility on official social networks or on internal channels, special training courses, events and celebrations…
A common meeting point: Redline, CCEP’s platform.
In Advocacy projects, losing the momentum and connection with your brand ambassadors is often the main reason for failure. But how to ensure a digital meeting point with collaborators that would nurture an always-on relationship?
Redline – a platform for interaction and internal content distribution, developed on Sociabble technology – would be the daily meeting point for Storymakers. There they would find publications, initiatives, rankings and training resources.
Gamification, rewards and recognition would be present at various levels of the user experience, further maximising engagement.
Present and future of Storymakers.
The project increased employee engagement with the brand:
- They improved their open rate of newsletters and other internal communication material by more than 20 percentage points compared to other employees.
- They used the training content twice as much as other employees.
- They helped CCEP achieve the highest participation rate in Spain among all the employee activations it conducted in Europe throughout 2019.
The one ingredient that can’t be missing from the recipe to keep the product going will be to keep ambassadors motivated: making them feel important, relevant and purposeful: to show that Coca-Cola European Partners has a lot to say.