Internal Branding: Get Your Employees Behind Your Brand

Your advertising. Your packaging. Your corporate business cards. Even your product itself. They all reflect your brand, and your brand is your company’s single most valuable asset. And although it is nurtured and managed by your marketing department, your brand is represented by your entire organization. From the receptionist at the front desk to the customer service rep staffing the phones. That’s why a strong brand requires that everyone in your organization has a complete understanding of, and ability to express, your brand positioning and attributes.

When your employees are aligned behind your brand identity, you maximize the strength of your brand. An effective brand communications program consists of six steps:

1. Awareness
Most likely, your marketing department has a thorough understanding of the brand, but others in the organization need a general awareness of the corporate brand and what it stands for.
For this you can use existing communications vehicles and tools like new-hire orientations, all-company meetings, corporate e-mails, training videos, corporate newsletters, the company Intranet, newsgroups and other internal communications vehicles to generate greater employee awareness, and constantly ask yourself : Are our internal communications on-brand?

2. Education
Once everyone in your organization is aware of the brand, they need to understand the values and visual components that comprise the brand, how it is communicated, and what constitutes on-brand and off-brand qualities.

3. Buy-In
Establishing a brand-related goal in each employee’s personal goals and objectives for the year will make sure they think about their roles in building the corporate brand. Ensure that managers understand how to develop brand objectives for their staff. It is essential that all managers have a complete understanding of the brand, and that they express the brand clearly, consistently, and constantly.

4. Actions
By participating in brand contests and other ways to express the corporate brand, your employees take more and more responsibility for the brand — they become invested in the brand. They’re proactive in nurturing the brand. They support the brand in all their day-to-day activities. They remain on-brand in everything they do, they find creative ways to promote the brand.

5. Results
Communicate with them about the state of the brand. Share brand research results, showing how each organization within the company is doing with overall brand objectives. Spread the word about recognition and awards from outside organizations. And even more: Strong Brand = More Money. That’s an equation everybody can understand!

6. Recognition
One of the best ways to reinforce positive brand actions is to reward them. Give special recognition to employees who live the brand.

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