In the modern saturated market, businesses have to come up with the best products/services as well as the most creative and effective marketing strategies in order to attract their target audience. But even in the online world, feedback, reviews, word-of-mouth recommendations, and brand image still play a crucial role in the overall business success. What’s more, it’s even easier to get a bunch of information about a brand via online means. In that respect, building and maintaining the right kind of brand image is crucial for elevating your business in this day and age.
What Is Internal Branding?
Brand image has become associated with many different aspects of a brand. This includes the logo design, colors and even the brand’s message. All these things are meant to create a unique business that’s easily recognized in the eye of a consumer. What’s more, a consistent brand image also helps to grow credibility and authority. But, what does all this mean to your employees?
When internal branding is concerned, the key here is to organize a company culture that matches your brand image and philosophy in a way that will allow the employees who work for you to identify with it and become true representatives of your brand. So, what can you do to make your internal branding work wonders for you?
1. Define Your Mission for a Sense of Purpose
Your brand needs an identity that your employees can easily recognize. Essentially, when you define your business missions, values and goals, your employees will find it a lot easier to give purpose and satisfaction to their work as well.
Think about it – through specified mission and purpose, your employees will shift their mindset from “I work for money” to “I work for an important goal”. This is the power of internal branding that can turn into a driving force behind your business, all by boosting employee productivity, satisfaction and appreciation.
2. Involve Your Employees
Basically, your internal brand is your employees; without them, your brand wouldn’t be able to exist. In that respect, one of the best internal branding practices that you can utilize is to actually engage your employees when it comes to identifying the mission, purpose, and representation of your brand.
For starters, you can get valuable input from your employees on the matter of their own brand perception. Through their feedback and opinions, you can make sure that you create an internal branding strategy that works the best for your brand’s powerhouse – employee body.
Furthermore, assigning roles to employees when it comes to communicating and representing your brand’s identity and ideals will resonate with other employees a lot better compared to everything coming from you as their boss. After all, it’s a lot easier to engage and believe in something when it comes from your peers.
3. Your External Brand Identity Should Align with Internal
As mentioned, elements such as brand logo, website design, colors that represent your brand, the message you want to share with the world, and so on are all very important branding aspects. But, these are also known as external branding elements that are meant to engage the target audience. Still, they also can and should affect your internal branding if you want to motivate your employees and turn them into true representatives of your brand.
Namely, you should never have different missions and brand messages for your external brand campaigns and internal branding. For instance, if you’re trying to present your company to the target market as a brand who primarily cares about customer service you shouldn’t have a different internal policy stating that your priority is to become the number one service provider. Having your brand images and messages align perfectly when your external and internal branding is concerned will make your employees feel more confident and assured in their role.
4. Strengthen Your Internal Communication
In order for your internal branding to actually work, it’s crucial that you clearly and personally communicate your brand’s missions and values to your employees. Strengthening their relationship with each other and your brand is an essential practice when it comes to becoming a leading business in your niche with true brand representatives.
There are many different ways you can make this practice work. For instance, casual company meetings and maybe even company lunches and dinners are a great way to start opening up. Also, looking into proper event management solutions for some bigger corporate occasions will definitely allow you to showcase your brand ideals to your workforce. Not to mention the positive effect of fun team building activities, workshops, and so on.
5. Recognize and Reward Employee Efforts
Your employees might get behind the idea of your internal branding strategy and jump happily into being true brand representatives, but if you fail to recognize and reward their efforts, they’ll soon lose interest.
The key to an internal branding strategy that works is to show appreciation when necessary. If some of your employees work exceptionally well when it comes to boosting your brand awareness and spreading the image and message you want to relay, you should definitely acknowledge their efforts, at least through internal company channels.
But there are other options as well, such as sharing their success on social media or maybe even dedicating a blog post to them. What’s more, a monthly draw reward system can be a great reinforcement incentive.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t have double standards when you create your external and internal branding strategies. The more consistent you are, the more consistent your branding will be, which fares extremely well for both the employees and the target audience.
By Michael Deane
Michael has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael’s work at Qeedle.