Quick recap! In Part 1, we talked about how your brand can help your business thrive, build trust, and create loyal customers. In Part 2, we talked about how you can create a memorable brand through the power of storytelling. Finally, we have arrived at Part 3. Internal branding is easily overlooked. Unfortunately, in today's very connected world, it can have catastrophic effects on a thriving business. For some, when done right, it can take a thriving business to the next level and potentially save marketing dollars - especially when it comes to brand awareness campaigns. Do I have your attention? Perfect. Let's dive in!
Breathe life into your brand.
Your employees are the people who make your brand come to life! That statement is so powerful and has so much truth. I could almost end this blog right now, and feel 97% confident that it is complete. I leave 3% to the inevitable unknown variables in most situations. But... I like a good brand conversation, so let's do this!
If your brand is authentic and purposeful, why wouldn't you want that to bleed over into your internal culture? Many HR departments are taking more interest in internal branding. Why? Because it attracts and helps retain talent. According to Training magazine’s annual Training industry report, companies spent an average of $1075 per employee trained in 2017. Some would argue there are additional hidden costs like loss of productivity to train, travel, training equipment, recruitment, or paid education.
A purpose-filled internal culture where employees feel a sense of investment can naturally increase productivity and employee retention. According to Gallup, "Job-hopping among millennials (born between 1980 and 1996) is problematic because these workers currently make up 38% of the U.S. workforce; some estimate that they will make up as much as 75% of it by 2025. This job-hopping reality is harsh, but leaders should not accept it as the new norm. Not all millennials are prone to leave, and their engagement at work is at the heart of the issue."
We love to talk about millennials, but many of the other generations want to feel like they have a purpose as well. So why not make your brand part of your interview, onboarding, and employee evaluation processes?
Advocate or critic?
Social media and the online world have changed the way we do business. It's more than just a tool for communicating your products and services. As consumers, we love to research before we purchase. It's changed the customer journey as a result. We're looking at reviews and ratings. You may see a significant change in sales if a trusted source or someone closely tied to the business speaks poorly of your organization. Unfortunately, sometimes it is simply due to poor communication.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, your employees can be your brand ambassadors. When you believe in something and feel like it gives you purpose, you want to talk about it. When you're passionate about something, it comes across as very authentic, and that excitement becomes contagious. Suddenly it doesn't feel like sales anymore.
Bottom line: love to believe.
No matter how great a product or service is, an organization's employees are the most powerful representation of a brand. As Simon Sinek so perfectly said, "Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first." He also said, "If you can get people to believe in your 'why' the way you do, they'll quickly transform from customers or prospect to evangelists who share your values and beliefs." Imagine what will happen when you get your employees to believe!