22 Mar Are the company employees living the brand?
Branding is a huge part of the success of any business and most of us understand that a brand is much more than a logo, colours and typeface.
A brand is about the customer experience. It’s the emotion behind what someone feels, sees and tastes when they interact with your company.
To create a branded customer experience, we need to look beyond our sales and marketing efforts to our employees – after all, they’re delivering your customer experience every day, each time they pick up the phone, interact with customers in your store or answer a finance query. Thus, branding needs to involve all your employees, no matter what their role in your organization.
Much resource is spent by companies communicating brand values to customers, but when it comes to internal branding, this is often overlooked. The Marketing Week article, ‘British Airways: building a brand from the inside out’ highlights companies that overlooked their internal branding for many years and how they turned it around.
Internal branding works
Internal branding can be extremely powerful, and research supports this view. In the London School of Economics’ ‘Advocacy Drives Growth’ study, internal branding was highlighted as being essential to long-term customer experience results, demonstrating that ensuing improvements in word of mouth – even as little as 1% – could result in 300% revenue growth.
Marketers typically think of internal branding when launching a new brand. After having poured over countless variations of logo designs, colour schemes, icons and fonts and having reached a point where the brand is (finally) approved, the brand is launched internally.
But, after the exciting launch phase, what next? How do we ensure staff are truly engaged with the brand?
Understand your audience
You need to re-think your approach and treat internal branding in the same way as your external marketing communications. That means to start with a campaign plan, which is informed by key insights derived from surveys and consultations with your staff.
Understand your employees as you would your customers. For instance, how do they like to consume information? Do you have a mostly millennial workforce that has grown up with social media and therefore prefer ‘snackable’ rich media to traditional company newsletters?
A deeper understanding of your employees will lead to informed internal branding campaigns that utilise a variety of touchpoints.
Measurement and control
Once you’ve developed your tactics and are implementing your campaign, put control mechanisms in place to measure your campaign. Employee engagement surveys and staff participation initiatives are general indicators of morale and engagement. Survey Monkey has a ready-to-use template for an employee engagement survey.
The ultimate measure of an internal branding program is customer experience, which can be measured through customer surveys.
The role of the internal marketer is to look beyond the traditional ways of communicating internally via a company newsletter and email to developing creative campaigns – worthy of a customer marketing campaign.
Learn more in The Marketer’s Guide to Internal Branding. This guide contains tips, advice and strategies that marketers can use to engage employees in the brand.