When we decide to build a new marketing strategy or a new brand what is the first thing that comes to mind? Market Research? Customer’s Pole? Messaging? Products? Competition? Company’s Values? We spend weeks collecting information that will sets us apart in the saturated market and spend days over just how to phrase and create that differentiating factor that will enable our brand to hoover all other brands. Once we have all this together, including our new visual language, new website design and overall new look and feel we believe we are ready to launch. So we set up a launch date, a launch event, PR announcement is all written, all media outlets are on standby and……off we go.
Anything missing here? Just because you know what you organization wants to say, doesn’t necessarily means the public will perceive it in the same way. If that’s the case then who do you think will reinforce your brand first the public or your staff?
Internal branding is defined as a cultural shift within an organization where the employees become more customer and business focused. In fact internal branding focuses the organization on much more than that. It enhances company’s values, overall work environment, overall approach whether to the customers, the company’s aims and goals as well as employees belief in themselves and the products the company sells. That is the true power of leading organizations and stand for 50% of the company’s total brand.
Recruitment and Retention Challenges
Recruiting qualified personnel and gaining high retention rate is among the leading challenges faces by corporates in 2017 according to Forbes Magazine. Internal branding is that part of a holistic approach that takes into account the entire candidate lifecycle. Internal branding helps companies bridge over the current state where corporates overemphasize recruitment over employee development which often leads to retention issues.
First step: Communicate your brand’s values to your staff
Your employees are vital to the longevity of your brand. There is nothing wrong with letting them know that and making them feel important. Use your internal communications to explain the values that reflect your brand and be open to receive feedback and ideas from them. Recruit your employees to market your new brand by action not by preaching.
Second Step – Marketing and HR Unite
Here is a refreshing concept. Internal marketing requires synchronization and collaboration from two great forces within the organization: Marketing and HR. To assure and ensure that the brand’s and company’s values are implemented inwards as well as outwards and are in synch, marketing and HR must be in synch first. After all it’s not just how your staff approaches your customers or market but also how they work with each other.
Third Step – Engage Your Employees
One of the ways to recruit your employees to push for your brand is to get them engaged with the brand. Marvell Semi-Conductorschose to launch their new internal brand to reinforce their corporate culture and brand values. They chose the concept of “Make an Impact” where all employees are encouraged to make an impact; either by innovation, a good deed, contribution, speaking their minds or any action that would make a positive impact. This they promoted by reinforcing a new approach to their employees where first message was “We See You”. Meaning Marvell see’s their employees and provided multiple channels for employees to express their ideas, thought and opinions. Furthermore Marvell developed a solid ground for technological growth for their employees as well as enable them to master end-to-end processes so that all employees will be involved in all aspects of a product’s lifecycle.
Fourth Step- Recognize and Reward Employees for their Brand Identity
More often, once the brand is launched externally and communicated internally, organizations often forget to continue driving their employees to reflect the brand’s values. This is where the true work begins.
After encouraging employees to reflect the brand’s values, organizations must now recognize employees who demonstrate true branding spirit and reward them for their great efforts. Marvell’s “Let’s Make an Impact” internal brand embodies this approach and encourages employees to demonstrate change. This change actually brought to a great change within the company including great employee retention rates as well as come- back rates. Employees ventured to new career opportunities elsewhere have requested to come back to Marvell.
Fifth Step – It’s All about Relationships
Whether with your customers or with your staff ultimately it’s all about creating a relationship that will retain both your customers and your staff. So when you think of creating internal or external branding one of the questions should be what kinds of a relationship do I want with my customers? With my staff? What is the tone of voice that I use to convey my messages? This relationship will determine the future of your Organization.