Every brand wants to reach as many people as possible; spark a positive reaction; and live a long, happy existence in the lives of its audience. (Maximizing sales is nice, too.) To do that, brands need to think beyond just their logo … and beyond just their external marketing efforts. Branding encompasses the overall emotion your products and services evoke — internally and externally. To help your brand out-live the life of a product and be an anchor for your values, it’s important to look inwards.
Start from the inside out.
Branding is the experience your customers have with you. It’s the interactions they have with your customer service team, the quality of the products they buy, the look and feel of your packaging, and their user experience on your website. It’s also the reviews they read, the anecdotes told by a friend, and the rumors they hear on the street.
Most companies focus only on their external messaging and forget about the people on the inside. But, your employees play an important role in maintaining, strengthening, and safeguarding the personality of your brand. So be sure to keep your employees informed and part of your brand strategy. Here are a few ways to do that.
Enroll your employees in Brand 101.
Employees need to know how to speak to your business and brand. Then, understand how they contribute to it. Dedicating time internally for building brand awareness and consistency will enhance how your company is perceived. Whether your employees are communicating with customers, vendors, peers, or the community, make sure they’re equipped to speak confidently, accurately, and appropriately about who you are. You can help them by leading consistent messaging across your business and setting clear guidelines about what information should be shared internally and externally. This will cultivate brand clarity so each employee is an advocate both inside and outside the office.
Revisit your mission statement.
Every so often, start your meetings with your mission statement. That doesn’t mean just read it off of a PowerPoint slide and move on. Instead, explain how it pertains to the projects you’re working on right now. Or better yet, weave in a story that illustrates how your staff’s efforts have impacted the strength of your brand. Making your company’s mission hit home for each and every employee helps them feel more connected to and responsible for your brand.
Ask for internal ideas and feedback.
Besides leveraging staff meetings to enhance your brand, allow your employees to be involved in providing input. We don’t recommend having 50 decision makers involved in every project, but we do recommend having your decision makers invite ideas and feedback from people throughout the company. Ask what they think of a new ad campaign or a new product offering. That doesn’t mean everyone’s feedback needs to be implemented, but it can provide you with new ideas you’ve never thought of, and it builds a brand culture that makes employees feel inclusive, empowered, and engaged.
Giving your brand a strong base on the inside will only improve its chances for success on the outside. For more ideas on building a stronger brand, contact us at Gearbox.