What do Barbie™ and legalized canna-business have in common? First, both have been making headlines, popping up in my social feeds for the last several weeks, with news about revolutionizing existing products or launching revolutionary services. Second, I believe both are experiencing flashpoint moments in their histories that make them ideal candidates for peer-to-peer Employee Advocacy programs.
Cultural icon Barbie™ has a whole new diverse squad of pals whose squad goals and attitudes reflect a shifting society. On the opposite end of the culture spectrum is the brand new legalized canna-business industry, racing to shift beliefs and capture early market share.
Looking first at Mattel, Inc. Potential benefits include: improved brand perception, increased employee satisfaction, high quality recruitment and increased retention, increased revenue.
Mattel's Barbie™ brand has taken its fair share of lumps over the years in the press and the court of public opinion, with loss of market share reflected year-over-year on Wall Street. A simple search for "Barbie body image" tells what could be the whole story, but Mattel's strategic move to develop a contemporary collection of dolls makes room for a different story than the one the "internets" want to keep telling.
Newly energized with new product and new management, this is an ideal time to empower Mattel's most loyal employee ambassadors with brand approved content and tools, helping them share Barbie's evolving success story right now. Positive things are happening across the organization and keeping teams up to date through a transparent employee communications strategy has potential to:
Switching gears to the legalized cannabis industry's Pineapple Express. Potential benefits: Regulated business showing transparency and increased consumer confidence, undiluted brand value through carefully controlled content, developing franchisees into local experts and thought leaders.
Pineapple Express is a "publicly traded company that invests in, expands, and brands existing and newly established canna-businesses through expert consulting and cutting-edge technology." Talk about a revolution! Operating in a highly regulated industry could foster fears around social sharing, but when approaching this challenge through an employee or brand advocacy framework, those fears begin to melt.
Why? Because an advocacy approach sets up clear guidelines with pre-planned content that insures those who are sharing stay within legal (or brand defined) guardrails. This applies to employees or franchisees.
Like all franchised businesses, I'm assuming Pineapple Express will be responsible for providing franchisees with quality marketing and promotional material. Likewise, they may need to keep those "franchisees" up to date with any legal requirements at the national and municipal levels.
Their business will be under more scrutiny than the average start-up, and I believe a branded advocacy program can deliver:
A fresh notebook of thoughts on taking a social-first approach to modern marketing and the shifting sands of social storytelling. Shamelessly mixing metaphors on the way.