Your advertising. Your packaging. Your corporate business cards. And your product itself. They all reflect your Brand, and your Brand is your company's single most valuable asset. An asset that must be protected and projected in every transaction with every customer or prospect.
Brand is a component of everything your company does. And although it is nurtured and managed by your marketing department, your Brand is represented by your entire organization. From the receptionist at the front desk to the customer service rep staffing the phones. That's why a strong Brand requires that everyone in your organization has a complete understanding of, and ability to express, your Brand positioning and attributes.
It's not a question of policing the Brand. It's about creating a culture that lives and breathes the Brand for the benefit of your entire organization. When your employees are aligned behind your Brand identity, you maximize the strength of your Brand.
Developing and implementing an internal Brand communications plan will ensure that your Brand is supported and nurtured throughout the company, and beyond. An effective Brand Communications Program consists of six steps:
Step 1: Awareness - Brand Front and Center!
Sure, your marketing department has a thorough understanding of the Brand (at least, they should!). But others in the organization, further removed from the behind-the-scenes marketing strategizing, need at the very least a general awareness of the corporate Brand and what it stands for. The good news is that your organization is probably already prepared to start building this awareness. You can use existing communications vehicles and tools like new-hire orientations, all-company meetings, corporate e-mails, training videos, corporate newsletters, the company intranet, newsgroups and other internal communications vehicles to generate greater employee awareness. Just make sure those vehicles reflect the Brand accurately! If your intranet or newsletter style and format do not reflect your Brand, including an article about on-Brand communications will only send mixed messages to your staff. Ask yourself: Are our internal communications on-Brand
When your employees are in constant contact with on-Brand communications, they become aware of, and begin to absorb, the true essence of your Brand and how it is communicated. Here, true success requires a collaborative effort among the Marketing, Human Resources and Operations teams within your organization. In addition to communicating the Brand, establishing a corporate-level Brand objective at the highest level of the company will generate awareness among all employees. This can be an objective like "Raise the Brand awareness this year by 5% among a certain target group."
Step 2: Education - Show Them the Way!