From interns to directors and apprentices to executives, your brand can be the key to unlocking potential and empowering your team to live and breathe your values.
Don’t overlook the internal power of brand
Amongst the noise and excitement of any rebrand, it can be easy to forget the internal power that your new, refreshed and refined brand holds.
21st May 2019
9th October 2018
Estimated Reading Time 7 Minutes
In turn, this genuine passion and authentic position will naturally transcend to clients and infectiously seep into your everyday working environment.
To start, there’s a story doing the rounds which nicely encapsulates why branding matters to an organisation’s employees. It goes like this: JFK is visiting NASA in 1962, and spots a janitor cleaning the hallway. Being a man of the people, the President walks up to the cleaner and asks the man, “What are you doing?” The janitor replies, “I’m helping to put a man on the moon.”
The lesson here is of course that businesses with a strong, shared common purpose and clear sense of their own identity are like targeted missiles (or rockets, in this case), with all employees knowing precisely where the business is heading and why. A clear sense of identity and purpose aligns everyone within the organisation, whether they are in finance, HR, sales or the cleaning staff.
Brand can inform decision making accordingly and most importantly, shape and fuel employee satisfaction.
Ultimately it makes a business leaner, meaner, and more effective – and therefore more successful.
The issue of brand is often siloed within the marketing department, when really it belongs to everyone within the business just as much as it does for external identity. Smart businesses recognise that often, the power of brand can deliver much more within their own company when it comes to feeling part of something greater than the individual, shared values, and empowering people. Of course, a strong brand also conveys a powerful external message and meaning to customers and prospects too.
Our MD, Mark, recently sat down with Karl Pemberton from Active, to discuss the BetterBrandBuilder™ process and the importance of employees to their brand.
Karl said “It’s crucial for any business to know what makes it tick, what makes it special and to remain authentic. It isn’t always just the generic business things like sales, profit, turnover and efficiencies. It’s our culture, our people, how much they enjoy coming to work, how much they feel valued when they are at work and how do we reward people.”
And it’s not just about bottom line and business profits. Talking about the world of finance, Karl said: “I believe focusing purely on the results is where a lot of our former employers have gone wrong. It ultimately means some really good people leave the big banking institutions and have come to work for us, because all they focus on are the results in the end and they don’t really care about the people.
“We want our team, and the people around the business, to live and breathe the Active brand and be brand ambassadors for us.”
“Unless the team really know our vision for the business, and understand our values and our character, how can you expect them to represent our brand properly?”
If looking to refresh or refine a brand, it’s vital to consult with people throughout a business. On one hand, they may have a very different view on the business, why it exists, and where it should be going. On the other, it is critical that you receive a rounded set of responses to truly embrace everything your business is to people, and what it can be.
This process alone can be very telling and impactful for other company operations – for example if your sales department is projecting an image remarkably different from the rest of the company. It also ensures any conversations about identity, purpose, values and direction are organic and developed collectively. Nothing isolates a company founder quite like when they alone are trying to project a brand which is unbelievable or disconnected from the experiences of their employees.
This very process can also serve to realign an organisation which may feel like it has lost its way or become rudderless. Keeping employees updated on the progress of brand development is also a critical part of this process. If you are going to offer your employees an ability for their voices to be heard, they should see how their words are being projected and used to shape the future of the company. It can also reignite employees’ sense of belonging and engagement with the business as a whole, as well as kick-starting their own creative processes which can pay dividends within their day-to-day roles.
In our experience the companies which consider the internal and external implications of their brand decisions don’t just end up with a solid customer facing proposition which succinctly communicates the reason they exist; they also unify their people and their business around common goals and targets.
And if we’re all honest with ourselves, if we’re a business leader, wouldn’t we all prefer if our employees responded like the janitor when asked about their job?
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