Transform Your Company with Proven Internal Branding Strategies

9 mins read

The traditional business model has changed significantly in recent times. With the rise of the digital world, businesses need a robust online presence to thrive. Customer reviews and ratings are crucial in determining a company’s success. Maintaining a strong and consistent brand image is vital to ensure public trust. Customers hold the power in today’s business landscape. Their preferences and needs drive essential business decisions. Brands that prioritize their customers’ satisfaction experience higher customer lifetime value and lower customer churn rates. To achieve a customer-centric approach, it is crucial to prioritize the individuals representing the organization. This article will explore why this is important and discuss internal branding strategies. 

Internal Branding: Engaging Employees for Success

When discussing marketing a brand, our minds usually go to attracting customers and convincing them to invest in or purchase a company’s offerings. However, alongside this customer-focused approach, addressing another crucial audience is essential: your employees.

Internal or employer branding is pivotal in fostering employee engagement and loyalty. Rather than directly targeting customers, internal branding enables a business to embody and share its values, identity, and purpose with its employees. Doing so ensures that the entire team comprehends and aligns with the company’s mission and culture.

Internal branding represents a corporate philosophy aiming to instill the company’s core culture, identity, and principles within its employees and consumers. The goal is to transform workers at all levels into “ambassadors” or genuine representatives of the company and its ideals.

When individuals genuinely care about their workplace, including their colleagues, productivity experiences a remarkable boost, ultimately benefiting the company’s bottom line.

External vs. Internal Branding: Connecting Inside and Out

External branding encompasses logos, taglines, the overall brand experience, social media presence, brand colors, and slogans. Their ultimate objective is establishing associations and connections with specific products or services.

Internal branding operates on a similar principle but with a significant distinction. Instead of educating customers about the company, it focuses on educating employees about the culture and mission. While it may involve training, cultural education, team building, and more, the ultimate goal of internal branding is to align the workforce and workplace with the broader values of the business.

The Importance of Internal Branding

A recent survey highlighted that an overwhelming 92% of employees would consider leaving their current job for a position at a company with a strong corporate reputation. This statistic alone underscores the significance of your internal brand.

Beyond the numbers, a cohesive internal branding strategy brings intrinsic benefits. Here are the key ones:

  • Motivation. Employees are driven to deliver outstanding performance across all aspects of their work, resulting in an enhanced customer experience.
  • Positivity. They are less prone to negativity in the workplace. Instead of dwelling on problems, employees who feel connected to the organization are dedicated to finding solutions. They believe in the business and its success.
  • Cohesion. Effective internal branding unites employees, fostering a shared celebration of values and creating a cohesive company culture where everyone aligns on how the organization should operate.
  • Brand Advocacy. An engaged workforce that genuinely believes in the business becomes an external advocate, promoting the organization and its products.

Internal branding not only boosts employee morale but also strengthens the overall reputation and success of the business.

Internal Branding Strategies: Unleashing Employee Advocacy

To establish a strong internal brand, you need a well-defined strategy that addresses internal challenges within your company. The ultimate goal is transforming employees into enthusiastic brand advocates, contributing to your company’s success. Here are two examples to illustrate the power of internal branding.

Define Your Company’s Mission

Craft a clear mission statement emphasizing the purpose and impact your business aims to achieve. Align your offerings with your brand values, ensuring a cohesive brand identity. Nike’s focus on inspiration, motivation, and innovation showcases the power of a strong mission statement.

Set Your Core Values

Establish core values that act as guiding principles, fostering teamwork, decision-making, and communication of brand principles. Discover’s use of the acrostic DISCOVER effectively communicates its values.

Engage Your Employees

Involve employees in the internal branding, seeking their feedback and input. Assign brand ambassadors to drive internal communication and enhance belief in the brand.

Align with the External Brand

Ensure alignment between your internal and external branding efforts. Translate the external brand identity into everyday roles and responsibilities, maintaining a sense of ownership among employees.

Display Mission and Core Values

Strategically showcase your mission and core values in key areas, such as your company website, to instill brand beliefs among employees.

Include Internal Branding in Onboarding

Integrate internal branding into the employee onboarding process, allowing new hires to understand the company’s mission and how they contribute to its goals.

Share and Communicate

Maintain effective internal communication channels to share important updates, announcements, and changes within the brand. Leadership alignment with internal comms ensures consistent branding messages.

Internal Brand Engagement Examples

To attract top talent, developing an appealing internal brand for your company is crucial. Rather than starting from scratch, draw inspiration from trendsetters who have invested time and effort into crafting their internal brand. Combining their insights with your original perspective allows you to create a unique internal brand that reflects your company’s values and offers an exceptional work experience.

Incentivize exceptional performance – FedEx

FedEx, a renowned multinational delivery service, prioritizes exceptional performance through its Purple Promise initiative. FedEx recognizes and rewards outstanding achievements by encouraging employees to go beyond their individual roles and exceed expectations. This fosters a culture of hard work, job satisfaction, and increased employee dedication.

Create a shared ideal – Starbucks

Starbucks, a dominant player in the coffee market, has built its success around a shared ideal. By defining Starbucks as a “third place” between home and work, the company has created a distinct ambiance and experience that resonates with customers. This shared vision gives Starbucks employees a sense of purpose and contributes to a collaborative team atmosphere.

Encourage people to make mistakes – Netflix

Netflix’s rise to streaming success can be partly attributed to its embrace of failure. The company encourages experimentation, learning from mistakes, and adapting quickly. This mindset, fostered by Netflix’s Chief Talent Officer, Jessica Neal, creates an environment where employees feel supported, creatively fulfilled, and free to explore new ideas.

In a Nutshell

Internal branding and employee engagement are closely intertwined with a solid internal communication plan. Investing resources into building an internal branding strategy is valuable. When employees become brand ambassadors, your business benefits from brand endorsement, improved employee retention, enhanced customer service, and increased revenue. Aligning your mission statement, values, and employee engagement efforts with external and internal branding is vital to maintaining employee engagement and achieving your mission.

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