How can an individual or a team create a business offering that stands out from those that have gone before? It would be foolhardy to suggest that this is a succinct answer, or indeed one that can be captured here in a few hundred words. However, based on our experience at Feather Down Farms, we would argue that one of the keys to our success has been creating a business model that truly values the importance of our ‘brand ambassadors’.
Too often we think of brand ambassadors as people in logoed t-shirts giving away free product at train stations. And while I would agree there is merit in this kind of direct marketing, we should look much closer to the business to identify who our ambassadors are. The reason is that there are so many, some we may not even have considered. In the case of Feather Down, some of our most important ambassadors are the wonderful farmers with whom we work. In fact, they are an absolutely fundamental part of our business’ success; as they host our guests, they are the face of Feather Down.
We have worked hard to create a model that brings the farmers into our business – they are invested in the success of Feather Down, for our wins are theirs too. We ensure they are valued, renumerated appropriately, and know that their contributions are integral to the growth of the business. These are tactics that any business owner or leader can easily adopt.
We also believe that our customers are our brand ambassadors – word of mouth is surely the most critical aspect of any business. Therefore, the customer experience must be 110% every time, no room for error. We know that happy guests recommend us to friends and share their beautiful moments with us on social media, sometimes to tens or hundreds of thousands of people. The domino effect of a positive customer experience cannot be understated.
And finally, our employees also act as brand ambassadors. As a multinational brand, we have teams dotted across Europe, yet we are very cohesive in the way we work. Employee happiness is of huge importance to Feather Down – we want our staff to enjoy working for us, to strive for the best in all that they do, and therefore to feel loyalty and commitment.
The moral of the story is that your brand ambassadors are not always obvious, but all stakeholders must be considered in some way a face of the business. Treat all your stakeholders with care and respect, and this will undoubtedly pay dividends.