“Brand” is not just another buzz word. Your brand is your company’s identity.
Inherent in the process of branding are a multitude of components including your logo, key messages, the look and feel of your advertising and marketing materials, and all of the nuances that go into these items. With so many factors to consider, you may be overlooking one of the most important tools in creating and maintaining your brand – your employees.
When building a strong, sustainable brand, employees are a critical component.
Employees are walking, talking billboards for your company. Especially in this age of social media where your employees are connecting through Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, messages about your company are shared as easily as a status update. Of course your employees are always going to control that message but you can give them the tools that shape opinions.
Strong internal communication about your brand ensures employees are in tune with your company’s identity. Studies have shown organizations that dedicate efforts towards internal branding experience decreased turnover. In addition, companies focusing on internal branding attract top talent. Their employees are also more likely to refer colleagues for available positions.
Creating a positive work environment through brand engagement will be something your employees will radiate to customers and anytime someone asks them, “Where do you work?”
Where to start
Before engaging employees, explore the clarity you have around your brand. When you have a solid understanding of your brand identity, consider training for your employees. You may want to tailor brand education to each specific department or unit of your business. Connect the dots between the brand and how they interact with customers to illustrate the importance of their role in the company and your messaging. Consistently reinforce brand engagement with employees.
Ensure your internal messaging is consistent with your external messaging. Each department can benefit through an understanding of how the brand effects the way they work and how they interact with customers.
Share your company’s brand statement, mission or vision statement with all of your staff. Weaving core statements into every internal communication helps deepen the understanding of the company’s brand and connects employees to the company. Employees who can echo the brand to your customers will strengthen your brand identity.
If you are looking to make changes, try showcasing new corporate marketing materials to your employees. They can be an amazing soundboard and have insights into what your customers need and how they might react.
Through integrating internal communication into brand strategy, leaders can remove the disconnect between themselves and employees. Employees who love the brand they represent will translate that enthusiasm to customers, leading to increased revenue.