Delivering your brand through your employees
Companies invest vast quantities of money each year on external branding, the brand that their customers see. Yet an equally important part of branding is often neglected – delivering the brand through employees.
Internal branding has an indirect impact on the external branding. If not handled with the due care and attention it deserves it can have far reaching consequences such as affecting the perception of the brand and ultimately it’s reputation. Research studies show that the one thing that most influences how customers and external stakeholders think and feel about a company is their interactions with it, including interactions with its staff.
So what is Internal branding? What it’s not is some piece of voodoo magic that brand gurus brainwash your staff with. It’s something far more simple. It’s about communicating the brand properly, making sure the company’s reason for being and its promise to its customers is fully understood. Internal branding is not putting value posters on the wall in the vain attempt to try and inspire your workforce, nor is it sending out an email telling staff about the latest advertising campaign. Its real engagement and real empowerment through knowledge sharing.
Internal branding is about developing and supporting the culture within an organisation, where the employees become more customer and business focused. Employee confidence and empowerment is built through the sharing of knowledge on how the company operates, and how the company differentiates itself from competitors. Without this knowledge and guidance employees will say whatever they feel is right for them.
Internal brand initiatives should engage employees, helping them understand the behaviour that is expected from them, and how this behaviour directly contributes to the company’s success.
Effective internal branding brings huge benefits. Companies whose workforces understand how they operate and make money, are proven to perform better. Educated, confident and committed employees will provide stronger performance and higher customer satisfaction.
The more knowledgeable, convinced and supportive the workforce is, the faster you can implement change. Change that is strongly and widely accepted is sustainable, and that saves both time and money. Successful internal branding will lift brand equity, customer focus and ultimately shareholder value.
“People buy from people. People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. What you do simply proves what you believe.”
Soren Petersen, Branding from why