Not everyone is convinced that an Internal Branding is of value and is worth investing today. Let me tell you this- when the brands in the 90s entered/re-entered the market they were already ahead with their internal branding strategy. They wanted to be unique, they wanted to be talked about not just by their customers but by their employees too! If you are a start up, who can best testify of your credibility and talk about your products? If you are a fairly new brand, who can help you stand out by giving exceptional work to bring you to the top? If you are a legacy brand, who helps keep and maintain the integrity of your brand?
BUT FIRST, WHAT IS INTERNAL BRANDING?
It is the process of communicating a brand’s vision, mission and values to and through its people. It is about YOUR story as a brand, YOU as a place to work in, connections between YOU and YOUR employees, and what YOUR employees experience. Creating a UNIQUE INTERNAL BRAND STRATEGY aims to communicate better, retain and consistently maintain the integrity of what your brand stands for. What the employees experience inside your organisation affects what they feel about your brand and in effect, reflects in the output they are producing. An internal brand solves any discomfort and compliance issues by simply making sure the employees’ answers to these are POSITIVE-
“How are they feeling at work?”
“What do they like about us?”
“What unfulfilled needs to they have?”
“How far do they understand about our brand?”
“What is their impression of us?”
If you don’t value your employee’s experience, read the story about how start ups become billion-dollar companies by simply creating a unique internal brand strategy. How did these organisations grow? By making sure their vision, mission and values are being carried out by EVERYBODY inside their company.
When you read about the success story of Facebook, aside from the story of the founders they also highlight how they grew from a handful to their first 100 (and so on)- how they functioned as ONE unit moving towards the goal of innovation. When Google faced the new generation, what big change aside from innovation did they take a leap into? They invested in creating a great environment for their employees to be able to feel inspired and motivated to work. These two brands are the best internal branding examples and they have had phenomenal success at attracting, retaining and motivating great innovative employees thanks to their solid and cohesive Internal Branding Activities in place.
Do you want them to perform well? Do you like getting good feedback? Here are just some of the benefits of a good internal marketing:
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Attract and retain good employees and lessen attrition
The law of attraction simply says positive brings in positive and negative brings in negative and it has been true for individuals and it is also true for organisations.
Think bigger, deeper into what you envision your brand to be. Global brand in 5 years? 150% ROI in 2 years? Increase in clientele within the next 6 months? Then you need to make sure that your employees are ready to share the vision and work towards accomplishing the mission.
If you are bidding “good riddance” to those who leave your company, start thinking about how this affects how the people who are still working for you. Did the person leave as a better person? Did this person leave because of issues? Remember that every day an employee stays, you are investing your money into growing them into the best ones to further your organisation and every time a person leaves, you start all over again.
Happy employees perform better and go the extra mile without being asked to
Yes, this is ABSOLUTELY TRUE. We are a witness of this as a training agency and we have interviewed hundreds of employees saying that when they are passionate, they don’t count the hours, they are mindful of mistakes and goes beyond their way to make sure important things are delivered- ALL because of the love for the job. This idea goes above and beyond professionalism which are bound by milestone checks, rules and standard protocols. If an extra mile benefits your brand a thousand folds, imagine if all your employees are passionately making a difference for your brand?
If your employees are not brand advocates, then who is?
If your employees don’t even believe in your brand, who will? If they are not showing interest in your mission, vision and won’t share your values, who will? If your people don’t even understand you, won’t partake in your journey 100%, we doubt that customers will.
NOW that you are convinced, but not sure how to start the internal branding process, follow these two proven ways to achieve a UNIQUE Internal Branding Strategy-
1. Turn to the basics and immerse them in your Mission, Vision and Values
The best way to be unique is to be yourself! Having a tailored mission, your vision and your values is already a way to differentiate yourself from the other brands. When you and your employees know these by heart, they will always default to these in any situation. Also, these will always give meaning to your activities inside your organisation and the possibilities are endless once you are living your brand!
2. Create an Internal Branding Campaign based on M-V-V
Milestone and achievement rewards, Employee of the Month award, Team Building and Bi-Annual Skills Development Trainings– these are just a few activities under an IB campaign that reap the most rewards for companies. Creating a succession of activities in line with your mission, vision and values that show employees that you champion growth & development and make sure they are aligned to your brand & what you stand for is the best way to help them live the brand.
Internal Branding is not as much talked about and invested in but it is an eventuality if you are true to building a brand. When your employees are not aligned with what your brand stands for, it means they also not share your mission, vision and values. Your employees are the best drivers of your brand and if they are not driving towards your goal in the manner that you have designed…well that’s just a disaster waiting to happen.
FAQ on Internal Branding
It is the process of communicating a brand’s vision, mission and values to and through its people. It is about YOUR story as a brand, YOU as a place to work in, connections between YOU and YOUR employees, and what YOUR employees experience. It ensures that the core branding principles are set, implemented and lived by the employees. It is a progressive kind of training that always needs to be consistently delivered within an organisation in order to maintain the intergrity and quality of employees within an organisation.
This developmental process is simply what lays the foundation when it comes to how a member of an organisation should act, speak and work. Not knowing all these would simply mean a company does not care about goals and how to get there. Without internal branding, employees and leaders will not be guided on what the company stands for and the company will not get the support it needs to grow and sell the brand to customers.
Global and international brands today started small at some point. But with its goal to enter the international playing field also means it will have growing needs. This is where a good internal branding works wonders. With a growing organisation, you would need to have trusted leaders and employees who are proven to deliver your brand consistently in any part of the world. If you want to build an international brand, build your internal brand coz you can’t spell INTERNATIONAL without INTERNAL, right?