Prioritizing your internal brand can take you a long way. Along with lowering attrition rates, it motivates employees to do their best. Not for the pay cheque at month’s end; but because they’re inspired by what their company stands for. That kind of loyalty is priceless.
Think about it: If an employee posts a good company review, your brand’s value instantly increases. And top talent would want to associate with it. It gives you a more qualified workforce that can scale your business twice as fast. Who wouldn’t want that?
Amazon is one company that does an excellent job with its internal branding strategy. On average, its L&D team spends over $1.2 billion on upskilling courses for over 300,000 U.S. employees. It encourages employees to promote company culture on their socials. As you see here:
A host of other benefits are associated with building the right internal brand strategy. And to save you time, we’ll quickly run you through how to create one of your own. But first…
What is internal branding?
There are two types of branding—internal and external; the first targets your employees, while the latter is directed toward your external stakeholders (for example, your customers). A good internal branding strategy can inspire your employees to go the extra mile while working on a project.
The aim is to make them feel like they’re working towards a meaningful goal. A higher purpose that could change the world as they know it. For example, look at how Apple fostered an unequivocal sense of belonging in their employees.
The brand’s tagline, “Think Different,” was seamlessly adopted into its internal branding strategy. And all their employees were taught to live by the two words. At work, they were constantly reminded to break the mold. Do things differently. Innovate. Because that’s what Apple is about.
Pro tip: If you want to create a memorable internal or external brand, one book you should read right away is Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek. It's got everything you need to create a thriving organizational culture.
Now that you understand the importance of internal branding, you’re left wondering how to create a strategy. In this blog, I will take you through the steps you’ll need to follow and give you some tips. Let’s get started.
6 steps to developing an internal branding strategy
Employees are human touchpoints. They interact with customers, and their actions affect your brand image. An odd remark could easily lead to a scathing Twitter review. That’s where your firm’s internal marketing can create an impact.
1. Define your goals and values
Doubling down on your company’s mission, vision, and value statements helps you understand the purpose of your organization. This gives you a framework to work with while developing your internal brand strategy.
Think about how your company helps its stakeholders on a day-to-day basis. In other words, what’s the reason for its existence? Your mission statement can motivate employees by allowing them to understand what the organization does. While creating your mission statement, ask yourself questions like:
For example, a social media app would focus on communication as its purpose. Twitter stays true to this, with its mission statement: “To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information, instantly, without barriers.”
What do we do?
Who do we help?
What do we want to achieve?
What impact do we want to create?
Now that you’ve covered what the company does, it’s time to look at things from a long-term perspective. Where do you see the organization headed years from now? What is your brand’s larger goal? While mission statements convey what your company does, vision statements refer to what your company will do in the future.
It is essential to use a moonshot goal here. Getting caught up in the practicality of matters won’t let you dream big enough. Start by mapping out your business goals and conducting competitor research. Once you’ve noted the relevant information, you can brainstorm meaningful statements that resonate with your stakeholders.
These refer to the principles your company stands for. They represent your culture and approach to any situation. Laying down company values ensures that all employees are working in tandem towards a common goal. It also attracts talent that believes in what your company stands for.
While brainstorming ideas for these three statements, create a mindmap with key terms you’d like to include and how they’re relevant. Make it a point to get feedback from stakeholders to understand what works and what doesn’t. Once done, you’re ready to move on to the next step.
Originally Published as What should be included in your internal branding & marketing strategy on Pickcel Digital Signage Blog