Companies usually spend a lot of time and effort on “external branding,” or ensuring their customers know who they are and what they stand for.
Often overlooked, yet equally important, is making certain one’s own employees get the same information.
In an article for BusinessWeek, Steve McKee, President of McKee Wallwork Cleveland Advertising, discusses “internal branding,” which he defines as “having a continuous process in place by which you ensure your employees understand the “who” and “why” behind your business proposition.”
What if there were a deliberate process in place to help employees not only do the functional aspects of their jobs better but also more intimately understand those whom they serve? What if each and every employee could be enabled and equipped to be a powerful steward of the brand? … Ideally, whether a prospective customer is looking into, learning of, thinking about, or shopping for your brand—not to mention purchasing it, using it, and then reflecting on the experience—the impressions you deliver along the entire continuum should be seamlessly integrated. At many of the points along that continuum, what your employees think, say, and do has a significant impact on your success.
Basically, all of your expensive marketing efforts won’t mean a thing unless the people interacting with your customers behave in a manner consistent with your branding messages.
Cultivating a corporate culture in line with your brand is crucial for avoiding employee-caused PR nightmares, and it helps you deliver on your promises on a face-to-face level.
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