Let Go & Lead
Eric Ryan Co-founder
Method

On Employees as Brand Ambassadors (2:41)

MARIL MACDONALD:
So, a lot of companies are struggling with how to engage their employees as brand ambassadors and you have an incredible group of brand ambassadors.  What, what do you do to really engender that?

ERIC RYAN:
Well, we have a fundamental belief of inside out branding.

Meaning, like when you walked in the office today and the environment, the people you met, like hopefully you felt like you’re walking in to the Method brand.  And um, anybody you talk to inside Method, you know really embody that, that spirit, that authenticity and their passion for it.  And so, you know that goes back to hiring again and really seeking out people who share the, the same values, the same passions um, that you do and that the brand does.  And you can’t — you know I sometimes joke that the most important marketing person inside Method is actually our head of HR, not our head of marketing.  Because today everybody represents the brand, it’s — you know marketing used to be very command and control.

And today, through social –media, like a classic example is we have a really talented scientist ah, by the name of Fred and Fred loves to you know share through social media um, you know Facebook ah, his thoughts on the brand and our products and that is awesome.  And like you don’t want to stop that, you don’t want to control that.  So, what you can control is the people you hire and how you train them.

So, then example of Fred is, he’s essentially now a copywriter and he’s creating marketing on behalf of the company and that’s an amazing thing.  And so, we just try to work to make sure everybody’s educated on the brand and they can do it to their — you know the best of their abilities.  But we, we encourage everybody to, to be ambassadors for the brand and we’re not afraid for that to happen.

MARIL MACDONALD:
Uh-huh, and as you look at social media, do you have any specific policies or guidelines for employees or how do you approach that?

ERIC RYAN:
No, I mean it goes back to trust.

And we trust that the people we hire and all of the different ways that we keep everybody informed through the Monday huddle, to our off sites, that um, they’re going to say and do the right thing.  You know what, and if they don’t and somebody screws it up, it’s okay, you talk about it and they’ll get it right the next time.

And we’d always rather be the type of company where people feel complete freedom — and for example, I mean every time we launch something new or we share something on Facebook, we’ll always ask everybody to make sure you’re sharing it and pushing it out.  And um, we’d much rather you know subscribe to the theory that having people over share and maybe okay, every once in a while we get it wrong —- than really trying to like lock that down and control it.

And you know that’s the letting go that you have to do in, in, in today’s social media — ah, world.