“Branding is everything you do to connect the business strategy with the consumer experience and turn it into preference and loyalty.”
New practices and strategies are developed every day to increase customer satisfaction, and one of the ones that have recently gained relevance and attention is internal branding. Internal Branding refers to all the practices that are carried out within the company so that employees adopt the principles, values, and brand of the company in which they work and then transmit them to the client. Few companies realize the importance of internal branding in their financial performance. Employees are those who transmit and sell the brand, not the advertising or the ads.
The correct selection and implementation of Internal Branding strategies within the company bring multiple benefits:
- It creates a personal and emotional connection between the staff and the brand.
It is important to train and induce employees about the values and promises that the brand represents so that they understand them and manage to identify with them. A loyal employee recommends and sells the brand
- An employee who feels part of the organization increases their participation and commitment in the actions necessary for the fulfillment of the objectives of the company.
Motivated employees are able to give a positive experience and in line with the principles of the brand to customers, which can create a distinction and preference of the brand over the competition. In the long term, this attracts new consumers to the company and reinforces the loyalty of current customers.
- A company with a strong and recognized brand attracts better talent and retains it longer.
Young people and executives are willing to work in companies with strong and respected brands for a lower salary than they would require companies that do not have a strong brand.
For Branding actions to have an impact on the performance of the organization, it is necessary to know the initial situation in which the company is located. This allows to select and implement an adequate internal strategy that generates the highest results and benefits, which logically must be measured and evaluated for its constant improvement and that of the company.
The importance of internal branding in organizations: Be very clear that your people are your image and your brand.
Mark is a 30-year-old man with a high educational level, respected and one of the rising stars of her company. He is unable to imagine a world without the Internet, mobile and instant messaging. On the other hand, we have Joan, 50 years old and she has been in the company for 25 years. She has done it and seen everything. Remember the first computers and even your first project. Although she feels comfortable with technology, she prefers to meet people face to face.
Although it may seem that these two people have nothing in common, both represent the same company in the market, and that is where the importance lies. Companies spend millions on advertising and marketing in an effort to create a brand promise, which is nothing more than an expectation created in the minds of consumers. While doing this, those same companies do not make sure that those who represent them are generating an adequate brand experience with the customers. There is the key.
Internal branding is critical to the experience of the brand that an employee lives. It is about more than communication or internal marketing. It is the commitment of the employees with a purpose, using systematic procedures that, at different levels, serve to cover the needs of an environment of workers of different generations. Understanding the differences that exist in teamwork that encompasses several age groups, we can realize that these varying factors can serve to unite the teams, rather than to separate them.
Commitment: A Road Map Oriented to Results
Measured from the inside out, but built from the inside out, this road map has five milestones:
Understand employees and customers. Beyond listening to the voice of the client, do it together with the voice of the employee and integrate both groups of data to understand what aspects of the employee experience have a greater impact on the customer experience.
Understanding where the employee’s commitment to customer service and results overlap, it helps us identify unique opportunities for improvement in those areas that maximize return. Only then can we complement the best opportunities for customer integration with the greatest factors of employee commitment.
For example, let’s say that the results indicate that “willingness to respond quickly to problems” is an area that has a high impact on the client’s experience, but has low global valuations. If we analyze the employee’s commitment in this context, we may discover that “empowerment to do my job” is an essential factor for commitment, which is also poorly valued.
This way we will be able to realize how empowerment will impact on customer satisfaction and, consequently, on business results. Uniting these two opportunities, empowering employees to make critical decisions regarding the clients’ experience, will result in a good assessment of these aspects for both groups.
Make the vision and brand promise operational. You must align your strategy with your culture. Taking strategic aspects, such as objectives and processes, and pushing them into the culture through values, behaviors and specific practices gives great results.
If you invite teams to share and discuss how these values and practice impact them, you will get fascinating results. For example, let’s say that “respect” is identified as a key value or practice. A specific group of work composed of individuals with generational differences can interpret “respect” as an active listening among its different members.
With a mutual understanding, the concept “that has been here for a long time does not mean that it is obsolete or out of reality” is mixed with “although I am young, I have a lot of good ideas”. The result is a respectful relationship where the value that each of the different members can contribute to the team is recognized.
Beyond communications. Everyone has a critical role to play. Everything starts at the top of the pyramid, where top executives act as defending champions of the brand and culminate considering all the employees.
Involve your entire organization through engagement, experiential events, and cascading encounters. Continued communication is necessary to ensure that a consistent message is heard and maintained as a priority in the minds of employees.
You have to take into account that your audience is multi generational, so you have to communicate the same message using different media. Think, for example, if an important news item appeared today, how would it reach your employees? Older and more traditional people would receive it through television or the newspaper; those of middle age, through digital media; while the youngest would find out about blogs or social networks. All these means must be applied in the transmission so that the same message reaches everyone.
Solve the experiential problems of clients and employees together. It must have an integrated local improvement process, based on oral customer information, to then identify and prioritize high-value issues, both for customers and employees.
The objective is that the latter can identify the root of the information that refers to problems coming from customers, in order to generate solutions. These solutions must involve a reward and recognition component that has meaning.
Sustain and refine. To face the different motivational needs of your people, make continuous observations, support them through coaching, share best practices and reward. Coaching efforts by managers ensure that front-line managers are able to effectively lead, communicate and solve problems.
The “best practices” must be accessible to employees, through a portal or other methods; However, this does not guarantee that the best ways to solve problems or carry out negotiations will be known by all, but throughout this process, the recognition and rewards act as reinforcers.
Therefore, it is worthwhile to celebrate the improvements and meet the needs and desires of individuals. The use of new technologies allows us to access more information in a simpler way while adding value and favoring the ability to choose. In this way, we make sure that the entire team, from all divisions, has the necessary motivation to achieve greater performance.
The company that does not value, consider, stimulate and motivate its human capital will find itself with greater difficulties in the complex way to reach the planned objectives. The primordial element of the real commitment with the organization will be missing.
It is fully proven that the improvement of the internal brand impacts people and raises their potential, which results in greater benefits for all.
We help Brands rediscover their purpose through training in four areas of Brand Strategy, Internal Brand, Branded Customer Experience and Sales & Marketing. We help you develop growth-led businesses with value. Let’s talk. Call us at +65 9271 6973 or Email us at Jerome@jeromejoseph.com.