Living the brand: The beginner's guide to internal brandingby
Customer experience expert Bernd Schmitt looks at internal branding projects and provides tips and advice.
- What it is like to work for the organisation – "This can mean the day-to-day work but it can also include whether it is fun and also they types of colleague there, because the types of person that you have in an organisation creates an internal experience," says Schmitt.
- The environment – "Companies like Google with its Googleplex have very different environments than what you normally have in a typical corporate environment."
- The way you are treated as an employee.
- The internal communication – "Is it casual or formal?"
- The hierarchies.
- An overall understanding of the brand – "Usually it starts out with the brand itself," says Schmitt. "Perhaps it is part of a broader branding project where the company wants to reposition itself, or if the company has lots of brands it may just focus on one particular brand, like for instance Mini vs BMW. The good companies think internally as well as externally when they do these kinds of brand projects involving repositioning and image projection. But it starts out with a clear understanding of the brand – what does the brand stand for?"
- Living the brand – "Let's say you have a brand promise such as Eli Lily's, the pharmaceutical company, which is 'answers that matter'. Now the question is how can we deliver answers. How do you manage questions and answers within the organisation. That means things such as the workflow, what database management systems you have, but you also have to think what it means for the behaviour of the employees to provide answers that matter. In the pharmaceutical business it would mean considering the fact that there are employees dealing with the government in government relations and there are other employees dealing with doctors and nurses, selling to hospitals and so on – so what does it now mean for these different employees to provide answers that matter?"
- Aligning employees with the brand – "Usually brands set up some sort of incentive scheme that aligns employees to the brand, some sort of rewards systems or measurement system, and this is very much an HR policy issue. And as with anything in branding, you have to revisit these things every few years to see whether it is still current, whether it is still relevant, and whether it still connects with your constituents, in this case your employees."
Neil Davey is the managing editor of MyCustomer. An experienced business journalist and editor, Neil has worked on a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites over the past 20 years, including Internet Works, CXO magazine and Business Management. He joined MyCustomer in 2007.