Imagine the Horror. You have spent money to align your employees to your brand by getting them to sit through a induction session on the company brand but you see no progress?
There are some reasons why Internal Branding could be a challenging task, especially if it is taken lightly. Below are a few pitfalls and misconceptions that commonly observed in our 20 years of experience:
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1. Internal Branding is NOT ONLY about education or explanation of the Brand.
It’s also about the alignment and re-calibration on how the organisation perceives itself, and thus creating belief. Instead of an instant solution, Internal Branding is a process and journey to keep everyone in the organisation, across the strata, to embrace the “soul” of the Brand and live it consistently. Yes, by all means, educate them but due it with a long term plan in place.
2. Internal Branding is more than the “Rah-Rah.”
Creating inspiration and passion is an important element in a successful branding programme, however it has to be backed up with the right strategy, tools, and support system. People often forget that it is the training, focus, planning that keeps the internal initiative alive. With the right support system, performance management and guidelines, Internal Branding will do wonders for organisations. In recent client project, we help align KPIs, Performance Review and Reward & Recognition systems with the goals of the brand. Remember your brand is in every aspect of your organisation and it is a living brand.
3. Internal Branding is NOT a marketing exercise or an HR matter.
Yes, the initiative often started from these functions, but buy-in and participation needs to extend far further for the programme to really work. We recently worked with a client who told us that their managers had no time to be involved and that we would only be working with ground staff. We were adamant that even if we had to do 1-on-1s, we needed the leaders of the organisation to embrace the spirit of the brand and walk the talk.
4. Internal Branding programmes should not stop at “Broadcasting.”
A good programme has to ENGAGE the participant. Instead of making rules and tell people on what is going to happen, a successful programme will arouse curiosity, pique interest and invite participation. Participants should actively think why changes are needed and how each person can be involved in contributing to the vision of the brand. In our work with BASF and big part of internal alignment was workshops where employees were tasked with contributing to building the BASF brand in their key departments.
5. Internal Branding should be tracked.
You have invested time in education your employees about the brand. Now is the time to see if they understand the brand and apply it by tracking the progress of your internal branding initiative. Always do a pre and post tracking to see how well your employees are living your brand and look at the gaps that you close.
As you can tell by now Internal Branding is more than just a series of sessions to tell your staff about your brand. It should strategically engage employees at all levels on a continuous basis through training and communication. It should be a managed process that ties in key performance indicators and finally it should be tracked so that optimal results are achieved. Contact us if you would like more information on how we can help you achieve a strong internal brand management programme.