How to Create a Successful Internal Brand
The concept of internal branding is usually maligned, misconstrued, or put on the back burner. Most employers tend to focus on the sales and numbers so much that they forget about their greatest asset, the employees.
Internal branding helps create a sense of identity and individuality for your company. This sense of identity trickles down to your employees and customers by extension. Internal branding premises on connecting your employees to your external brand, so they feel part and parcel of the company they work for.
Unfortunately, creating an internal brand is easier said than done for most employers. Your internal brand must demonstrate what the company stands for and its goals and mandate. Proper internal branding transforms ordinary employees into genuine company ambassadors eager to achieve its bottom line.
If you’re looking to create a successful internal brand for your business, you’ve come to the right place. In today’s post, we’ll be looking at how you can refine your internal branding process for the greatest effect.
Lock Down Your Values and Mission
If you want your internal brand to reflect your company’s mission and bottom line, you’ll have to start by defining your values and mission. That way, your business will have a concrete purpose and identity with which your employees can identify. Clearly define your company’s mission, focusing on principles and philosophies that make your company unique.
Did you know that a company with a purpose can increase sales by a staggering 400%? What’s more, 85% of employees in fortune 500 companies report that their work isn’t just a job but has a special meaning. An overall company mission gives employees a sense of purpose to work towards the company’s prosperity.
Of course, your company’s values and mission must align with what your company does. Take your time to come up with values and a mission that resonates with your employees and reflects your company. Your mission shouldn’t just be to make more money; instead, it should be something profound that gives your employees a sense of meaning.
Talk to Your People
Your employees are at the core of your internal brand. Meaning it’s your employees that define and drive your brand. As such, you need to talk to them and get them involved to get your internal brand off on the right foot.
The first thing you need to do is get feedback from your employees on how they perceive the brand. Ask them for their input and suggestions on the best way to shape and define the brand. There are plenty of ways to get employee feedback, but the best include:
- Q and A sessions
- Open discussion forums
- Focus groups
Pick the ones that seem best suited for your company to gain insight into what your employees think of your company. If you want to really stir the conversation, find a way to give your employees a sense of ownership to increase their engagement and receptiveness to the brand.
Of course, you can’t do everything on your own. You need to assign internal branding and internal communication changes to the most dedicated people in your company. Pick employees who are the best brand ambassadors to drive the process and get everyone on board.
Think of it this way; employees are more receptive to their peers rather than to top-down leadership. This makes it seem like the employees are championing a brand they believe in and not just doing something they have to.
Carve an Identity for Your Internal Brand
Once you have the first two steps down pat, your next task is to create an identity for your brand.
Remember how you created your internal brand? Logos, colors, and everything do the same for your internal brand. Doing so helps bring out the meaning of your internal brand and translate it into meaningful everyday roles.
When creating your internal brand, it’s imperative that you align it to the external brand. That way, your employees can understand how the two relate and work for integrity. Ensure your company puts out the same message to the employees and the customers to avoid any mismatches.
Mismatches between goals lead to confusion and disillusionment, which works against your company’s bottom line. Drawing from the same external marketing ideas to build your internal brand helps it resonate better with your employees. You can look at other internal brand examples to pick a few internal branding ideas, as long as you don’t copy everything you see.
Giving your internal brand a unique spin will help enhance its sense of identity. You can take your external brand logo and maybe change the color or add one or two elements for starters. That way, your internal brand still relates to your external brand, and it gives your employees a sense of ownership.
Communicate Your Internal Brand Strategy
Companies with strong internal branding are keen to communicate their internal brand strategy to concerned parties. Remember, you need your employees to emotionally connect to your internal brand to have a sense of ownership. This is hard to achieve with an internal memo or a broadcast email.
If you want to communicate your internal branding strategy effectively, you’ll need something bigger. Think along the lines of a launch event, or even bigger. You can follow up on this event with gradual information dissemination until the information reaches everyone.
A launch event is just one way to communicate your internal brand strategy. You can also consider running launch workshops, a town hall announcement, or even branded clothes. If you’re looking to brand some merch, have a look at companies like Axomo, who specialize in that sort of thing.
Never Compromise With Your Internal Branding
The information above is all you need to build a concrete, inclusive and effective internal brand. Remember, your employees are at the core of your internal brand, so make sure they steer the process. Also, don’t forget to relate your internal brand to your external one for the greatest effect.
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