Internal Brand Building
Internal brand building or internal branding is now becoming the leading edge of brand management. In its truest form internal branding focuses and harnesses the power of an organization’s culture to build a strong brand. This broader, more approachable framework of branding enables organizations of all types and sizes to build a strong brand no matter the size of their marketing budget.
After 12 years of developing and implementing internal brand building programs a few things stick out in our mind:
- Successful internal brand building requires an organization to define and clearly communicate its authentic and distinctive qualities. Cultural integrity has more brand-building power than the largest marketing budget.
- Employees crave brand alignment. Provide employees the tools to define what matters to them (their personal brand) and you’ll be surprised how much brand alignment exists inside your organization. Internal brand alignment is the great equalizer when it comes to building a strong brand.
- Internal branding is not a one-time initiative. When done well, internal brand building is supported by a collaborative effect between marketing and HR. It’s designed as an organizational development platform connecting employees’ passion for the organization with the things that matter most to customers.
Internal brand building is finally coming into its own and we’re happy to be a part of it. To learn more about how we have developed and implemented programs for organizations around the world:
- Brand Insights Wit Attitude Blog
- Internal Brand Building: Leveraging an Innovative Collaboration Between Marketing and HR
Our firm is passionate about the power of internal branding and the difference it can make for organizations of all types and sizes.
What is it?
Internal brand building, also known as internal branding, is being embraced in one of two ways: as a marketing communications tactic or as a more robust business process that will have real impact on business results.
For example, when an organization launches a new corporate identity, it will engage in an internal communications program, complete with posters, branded apparel, and other logo-adorned merchandise. Today, that tactic is called “internal branding.”
On the other hand, innovative organizations implement internal branding initiatives that are best described as collaborative change management efforts to align employees’ actions and attitudes with the brand’s distinctive value it provides its customers. We subscribe to this version of internal brand building as the framework that delivers the most value to an organization.
Increasingly, innovative leadership teams view corporate brand as the embodiment of the distinctive qualities that enable it to outperform competitors. The corporate brand is shorthand for the company’s distinctive way of doing business. In this case, internal brand building is a valuable organizational development initiative to connect employees with the leadership team’s vision for delivering distinctive value to customers.
From a marketer’s perspective, internal brand building is a business process that provides the confidence to turn up the dial on marketing strategies and sharpen the brand’s distinctive edge. HR executives view internal brand building as an innovative process to drive customer-centric change management initiatives.
No matter whose perspective, the primary objective of internal brand building is to use the context of corporate brand to align and engage employees to consistently deliver increased value to customers.
Why does it matter?
Organizations with passionate, aligned cultures create fertile ground for marketers to build strong brands. Building a strong brand for a highly engaged, successful organization is the equivalent of the difference night goggles make in a nighttime search and rescue mission.
Cultures lacking alignment and a customer-driven purpose provide marketers with an opportunity to expand their impact on the organization by collaborating with HR to create a strong brand on the inside, to support building a strong brand on the outside.
How do we do it?
Brand Tool Box Internal Branding Program
Our Internal Brand-Building Program is an innovative organizational development program to create customer-centric employee engagement—the essence of internal branding. Building a strong internal brand starts with a solid internal branding strategy and is built upon a foundation of brand training and brand leadership development and sustained through on-going organizational development activities.
Connecting Employees with Customers
Internal branding is the employee engagement process to focus employees’ attention and behaviors on consistently adding value for customers. The resulting customer loyalty delivers tangible business results. Increasing customer loyalty can be measured in terms of less price resistance, expanded portfolio of sales for each customer, increased customer referral, and customer service efficiency. The Brand Tool Box Internal Brand-Building Program is the most powerful, proven process to engage employees with customers and the needs of the marketplace.
Using the Power of Brand Alignment
Brand has now become the universal language that describes the unique relationship an organization has with its customers. One of the unique aspects of this innovative program is the use of the practical and proven working model of brand on a business and personal level.
The personal brand concepts developed by Karl D. Speak and used in the best-selling book, Be Your Own Brand, exemplify the straightforward concepts of brand and serve as the proprietary learning models used in the internal brand-building training workshops.
Implemented Using Proven Training Workshops
Brand Tool Box has created a powerful, patent-pending process that creates engaged employees by facilitating the alignment of their personal brands with the organization’s brand.
There are three unique aspects of the Power of Alignment process that deliver sustainable customer-centered employee engagement:
- The innovative alignment of personal brand with the organization’s brand creates a clear and powerful platform for employees to determine how their connection with the organization enables them to contribute to make a difference for customers and coworkers.
- The use of the congruent learning models of brand, personal and business, creates a quick and effective understanding of brand as the organization’s framework for connecting with customers.
- The personal development activities embedded in the training portion of the process leave employees with a very positive feeling about themselves and organizational development.
Delivered with the Unique Combination of Organizational Development Best Practices and Brand Expertise.
Brand Tool Box has developed an innovative employee engagement program that uses a robust organizational development systems approach to deliver the true strategic benefits of creating a strong organizational brand.
Our Internal Brand-Building program is built on an organizational development framework that is steeped in a commitment to a practical implementation framework, proven to create a lasting connection between an organization and its customers.
The system is comprised of four integrated, reinforcing phases:
Brand Platform Development
At the foundation of every successful internal branding program is a clearly defined set of expected outcomes that anchor employees’ behaviors and decision-making. The brand platform process defines the organization’s differentiating qualities and how they impact customers.
Developing an organization’s brand platform is one of our core competencies and is based on our robust brand platform process. Fundamental to building a strong brand platform is having access to a reliable assessment of an organization’s brand in the marketplace and an assessment of the internal brand.
At the core of this organizational development system is a set of training workshops, instructionally designed for effective learning at all levels of an organization.
An integrated and coordinated set of activities developed to reinforce the training into customer-focused behaviors. These activities range from a prescribed set of coaching sessions, revising HR performance systems, to research tools to measure changes in customer loyalty.
Internal Brand Infrastructure
The purpose of these activities is to modify existing organizational development practices to sustain brand building.