You’ve spent weeks, maybe months developing your company values and marketing messages. You have a slick company website which compliments your beautiful logo. Co-ordinating email signatures and social media profiles have been set up and you feel you are almost good to go. Note; I said “almost”.
There is usually one part of the whole branding process which is often forgotten about. Maybe because we feel that our own passion for starting our company is enough to hold the foundations together. After all, our clients are only going to see our brilliantly executed external marketing campaigns; right? Wrong.
Marketing starts from the inside out. It’s as simple as that. The same passion, values and integrity on which you built your company on, should also resonate through each of your employees. If your employee’s values are aligned with your company values then you are in perfect stead for a successful internal brand which in turn, will add power and proof to all of your external marketing campaigns.
Here are 7 steps for creating; building-upon and maintaining internal branding.
- Define your company values – There will need to be a continuous flow between your internal and external marketing, so your values should be true and consistent to both areas. Declare what your company vision is and create an aligning mission statement.
- Explain your company values to ALL of your employees. Let your employees know what you stand for and why you stand for it. Speak with passion and purpose and you’ll find that your company values will permeate through your employee’s actions when interacting with clients and each other.
- Practise makes perfect. Hold regular events where your employees are engaged in team building activities which are aligned with your company values. Hold discussion groups where each department gives an update of their weekly or monthly activities so the rest of the company is aware of what their colleagues have been doing. Be open to feedback sessions where employees can make suggestions on business improvements and present business cases for new business procedures.
- Mini-Me Branding. If your company has more than one value, create internal mini brands which represent each value so that your employees can easily identify and contribute to it. Perhaps build a separate section on your intranet where each value has a separate heading so employees can log-in and make suggestions and comments under the appropriate headings.
- Recognition should always be given. Reward your employees for hard work and outstanding behaviour. Hold a fun event each quarter and use this opportunity to thank all of your employees for their hard work and commitment – this can be as easy as an evening out together or a fun day out at a theme park. This will also be a bonding exercise for your employees and the good work they have produced for you will more than likely be repeated.
- Reinforce your company values by ensuring your external marketing campaigns are always aligned to your core marketing values. Use opportunities such as conferences and exhibitions to demonstrate what you stand for and remember; actions speak louder than words.
- Communicate on a regular basis with all of your employees. Ensure that any employee forums you set up are reviewed on a regular basis and constantly be open to employee feedback in all areas of your business. Any new business procedures or contracts won should be communicated to all departments on a regular basis, perhaps in a monthly internal newsletter. Outstanding achievers could also be commended at this time along with reasons why – keep your company as transparent as possible. Be open and honest with what your company stands for and you’ll find that your current employees will align to your beliefs and potential employees will also be attracted to your company for this same reason.
Always remember that it is your employees who meet, greet and interact with your clients and potential clients. They are the face of your company. Get your internal marketing right and this will manifest into great external marketing for you and your business. Have fun and good luck!
About the Author: Debra Mendonca is the founder of Tweet Spectacular; an online design service for bespoke Twitter backgrounds. She is also a freelance Online Designer, Marketer and YouTube Vlogger as well as the in-house Design and Production Manager for a business and technology consultancy based in London Bridge.