Corporate Eye

Branding from Within – The Importance of Internal Brand Building

megaphoneDo your employees know your brand promise? Do they know your primary brand message and what your brand’s image is? Do they know how your brand is positioned relative to similar brands on the market?

If you answered ‘no’ to any of these questions, then you need to spend time building your brand from within your organization. Employees are the strongest brand advocates, but they can’t advocate your brand effectively if they don’t understand it or buy into it.

Following are ten suggestions to help you build your brand internally:

  1. Create a Twitter account using CoTweet.com where multiple employees can get involved with external branding efforts and other employees can learn more about the brand. You can also create private Twitter groups that your employees can join and you can share branding messages using a tool like GroupTweet.com.
  2. Get a Flip video camera (or hire a video producer) and interview employees about your brand. Share stories on an internal Web page.
  3. Create private social networking groups for employees and communicate branding messages.
  4. Create printed materials that teach employees about your brand in an entertaining fashion rather than like a training guide.
  5. Interview customers and share their feelings about your brand with employees.
  6. Explain how your brand is different from competitors.
  7. Create branded experiences for employees where they can share the brand just like consumers do.
  8. Encourage employees to join social networking groups, join Twitter, and write blogs where they can advocate your brand. Just be sure to create social media guidelines for employees. There are hundreds of Google employee blogs. If Google can do it, so can you.
  9. Make sure your employees are motivated to use your branded products and services. How would it look if a Starbucks employee drank Dunkin’ Donuts coffee? You don’t want a similar faux pas to happen with your employees.
  10. Hire a Chief Brand Officer to lead the initiative.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with internal branding efforts. If your employees don’t believe in your brand, why should consumers?

Image: Flickr

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as MSNBC.com, BusinessWeek.com, TodayShow.com, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.
 
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