The Brand Ambassador Role: How Adobe Maximizes Employee Advocacy

Todd Kunsman

Head of Marketing

12 minute read

Brand Ambassador Role

I’m sure when I write the name Adobe, that the company needs no introduction. I’d say the majority of people around the world are familiar with the company and/or have used their products. 

But if not, here’s just a quick synopsis. 

The computer software company was founded in the early 80’s and is primarily focused on multimedia and creativity software products — even digital marketing products as well. 

However, besides making innovative products, the company also tends to be creative in how they build their brand as well. 

For example, the company was one of the first brands to truly understand employee advocacy and the impact it could have on the brand and their employees. 

While other large organizations were hesitant or could not comprehend social media in the workplace, Adobe was already deep in a strategy and defining the brand ambassador role with EveryoneSocial. 

 
 

Adobe and the Brand Ambassador Role

Since the internal brand ambassador role is continuing to grow and be important for brands, I wanted to learn more about the process and success of Adobe

Besides being one of our earliest customers, we love working with them and learning how they approach their employee advocacy program.

Below, Rani Mani – Head of Employee Advocacy at Adobe, answered a few questions we had about their brand ambassador program and views on generating employee advocates. 

Additionally, we also cover their internal process to getting employees interested in their ambassador program. Let’s dive in below. 

 

Roughly, how many Adobe employees are considered true brand ambassadors? 

Currently, close to 900. 

 

And how long has Adobe made employee advocacy and brand ambassadors an important aspect to the business? 

About 7 years.

 

How does Adobe view the brand ambassador role on social media? 

We see them as the names, faces, and personalities behind our brand.

 

And why has it been (and is) an important part for the business overall? 

People do business with people and not brands, so it makes good business sense to shine a light on our people. 

Also, employees who are more plugged into company content, industry news, and become more connected with their colleagues as advocacy fosters, tend to be more engaged with the company and stay longer.

 

Were there any challenges in the early days of getting employees to share content on behalf of the brand and get more involved? 

Early on there was a tad bit of hesitation because people were surprised and nervous to represent the brand on social in an official capacity — given how there were colleagues of theirs with social media in their titles. 

 

If so, how did Adobe start to remedy these challenges? 

We emphasized how we trust them, which is the whole reason we hired them to begin with! And that we wanted to leverage their authentic POVs. 

It would be a win-win for employees and the Adobe brand.

 

What has been some of the best ways to get Adobe employees excited to be brand ambassadors? 

By really focussing on what’s in it for them. 

Elevate their thought leadership, getting more visibility inside and outside the company, connecting with their colleagues, growing and strengthening their networks. 

 

Why do you think this has worked so well? 

Employees appreciate the fact that we are invested in their growth and development and not just focussed on what’s in it for Adobe.

 

If an Adobe employee wants to get more involved in employee advocacy and being a brand ambassador, how do they learn more? 

We have information posted on our intranet on the social media resources and are always looking for opportunities to proactively advertise via digital signage, swag, newsletters, etc. 

 

Does Adobe provide any training currently? 

Yes, we do have on-demand training available and will also conduct live, virtual sessions for intact teams we onboard.

 

What were the initial goals of having employees be brand ambassadors? 

To get as many people in the program as possible and to have a high active user rate. 

 

Have those goals changed since the early days? 

We’ve now expanded to also look at where we are in creating a sense of community. 

Looking at metrics around how many groups are being created, how many people on average are people following, and overall engagement rates.

 

What does Adobe expect from internal brand ambassadors? 

We expect passion and excitement around showing off our unique workplace culture as well as all our cool thought leadership and innovation.

 

What do you think some of the best impacts of the employee brand ambassador role have been for Adobe to date? 

The fact that it humanizes the brand and helps us achieve our various campaign goals around social volume, engagement, share of voice, impact in the community, as well as getting out the Adobe story beyond just the corporate jargon. 

In addition, and maybe even more importantly, it is helping us facilitate a global workplace community that unifies us a company and connects us as people.

 

What advice would you have for other organizations interested in employee advocacy and building an organic brand ambassador strategy? 

To not sit on the fence picking at the edges with pilots and other cautious tactics. Rather, just go big, fast. 

Think of it as mission critical to day 1 of the employee experience as getting your computer up and running as well as your badges in place. 

Advocacy should be part of every job description and therefore some element should be accounted for in every performance review.

 

Adobe Brand Ambassador Example Guide

Now that you understand a bit more about the brand ambassador role at Adobe and their program, I wanted to provide a bit more insight. 

Sometimes, people who are generally interested in employee advocacy wonder how to entice employees to get involved and get them to genuinely care.

I won’t be showing you everything from Adobe’s simple ambassador document, but will share some snippets and why it’s great. 

 

The Three Ways to Be An Adobe Ambassador

Adobe keeps the brand ambassador role simple. What they do well here is to get right to the point and how the employees will make a direct impact on the brand. 

This also is not forcing anyone to get involved, just explaining the impact you can have on your professional brand and the company. 

 

What’s In It For Adobe Employees

When asking for employees to fill the brand ambassador role or get involved in your employee advocacy platform, you need to show them what is in it for them.

Too many times we see organizations with a “me attitude,” meaning they only focus on the benefits to the brand.

If your employees are not benefiting from participation, you’ll find adoption for this initiative to be a bit of a struggle. 

Adobe makes it clear that the power it has on their people’s personal brand, professional development, and that Adobe invests time in their education by offering social training workshops. 

Additionally, they immediately mentioned EveryoneSocial as how anyone can get signed-up and be a part of their program quickly. 

 

Awards that Build Community

Many times, organizations want to lead with gamification and monetary rewards for participation.

While these are encouraged to be part of a social brand ambassador program, you don’t want that to be the main driver.

Adobe balances this well as they offer incentives that select participants get a chance to win. This encourages others to get involved, but also offers no guarantee and is not the main focus. 

The incentives are pretty cool, but act as another great way to build their internal community and employer brand as their employees love sharing the perks they get too. 

 

Final Thoughts

Employees are the best brand ambassadors for your organization. Period. And Adobe was one of the early adopters who recognized that and wanted to harness that power online. 

Their program is almost a decade old now and has grown stronger with each passing year.

We are excited to continue to grow their program and work with the program admins to really build an amazing ambassador strategy.

If you have been hesitant or unsure about employee advocacy, I hope some of the insights from Rani Mani and Adobe can help guide you to value. 

But if you want to learn more, have questions, or want more examples of companies mastering the brand ambassador role and employee advocacy, feel free to schedule your demo with our team. 

 
Image by Abhijit Bhaduri
 

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