Internal branding is the ongoing process of educating employees so they understand, support, live, advocate, and guard your brand promise. Internal brand building is an essential part of developing a successful business of any size.
Whether you’re a solopreneur, a startup founder, or leading a team at a Fortune 100 company, internal branding matters. Why? The answer is simple. If your employees don’t believe in your brand, why should anyone else? Why should customers believe and buy?
Unfortunately, most companies skip this critical part of business development. Employees are a company’s most valuable brand advocates, but few are tapping into this amazing resource!
Ongoing education is essential to ensure employees don’t just know what your brand promise is but believe it. The company has to make the brand promise matter to every employee and that meaning shouldn’t be connected to their paychecks at all.
Here are five key benefits of internal branding to help you better understand why it’s so important to your company:
1. Internal Brand Building Develops a Personal Connection between the Brand and Employees
Internal brand building gives employees the tools and information they need to understand how they fit into the overall mission and vision of the brand and business. They learn how the work they do affects how the brand promise is delivered to consumers through branded experiences that help the company meet its goals.
2. Internal Brand Building Develops an Emotional Connection between the Brand and Employees
One of the primary steps of consumer brand building is developing an emotional connection between the brand and customers, which leads to loyalty and word-of-mouth marketing. People like to talk about the brands they love and feel highly emotionally connected to. Make your employees fall in love with your brand and become emotionally connected to it by educating them and treating them in a manner that is consistent with your brand promise.
3. Internal Brand Building Develops Colleague Connections
When employees believe in a common message or goal, such as a brand promise, they become a powerful force and work more cohesively as a team. Productivity and morale increase because employees share a common belief in the brand. Employee brand advocacy also increases. Ultimately, costs will go down while sales and profits go up.
4. Internal Brand Building Provides Employee Focus
A focused brand is a strong brand, so it’s critical that employees fully understand the brand’s focus. Teams that go in too many different directions are doomed to failure, so keep your employees on track to reach collective goals by giving them a common and specific brand focus. In other words, don’t try to be too many things to too many people, and that includes customers, business partners, vendors, investors, and employees.
5. Internal Brand Building Improves Hiring and Retention
If employees believe in the brand promise and feel passionate about being a part of the team that brings the brand promise to life for consumers, then employee retention will rise and your company will be able to recruit more qualified employees as an “employer of choice.” Furthermore, hiring costs will go down while employee brand advocacy, productivity, and morale increase.
The Results of Internal Brand Building
In the long term, internal brand building practically guarantees lower costs and higher profits, so prioritize ongoing employee brand education as soon as possible. Remember, every employee from the top down must believe in the brand and live the brand promise or your business results will never reach full potential.
Originally published 1/3/15. Updated 1/16/19.