Building brands inside out
Posted by: Kat McSweeney - 23.03.23
They say it’s the little things that make a difference. And this is never more true than when it comes to marketing.
That’s why we developed Ride in 5: a series of bite-sized, five-minute reads that break down industry challenges, insights and trends providing oodles of inspiration for new ways of thinking and doing – helping ambitious marketers make their life easier.
What you need to know
“To win in the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace”
Marketers invest huge amounts of time, effort and resources into defining their brand and building its story. And rightly so. It’s vital to pin down why your brand exists, why it’s different and better than the rest, and the role it plays in your customers’ lives. That done, it’s tempting to think you can now shout about it from the rooftops.
But, as every seasoned marketer knows, there will always be some within your business who dismiss brand as marketing fluff. That’s why an internal launch of your brand to your people is vital. As is the ongoing need to inspire and educate them about the importance of delivering it together. Brand isn’t just the domain of the marketing department. Everyone in the business needs to be an effective bridge between what your business wants and what your customers want.
Why it matters
Your brand strategy connects your business ambition to what customers need and want. Which means everyone in your business is a potential brand touch-point. From the architects in your marketing department to the investors among senior stakeholders, and the construction workers in the rest of the business. All need to follow your brand blueprint.
Fail to engage everyone in your brand and provide the tools they need to deliver it and you end up leaving gaps. Gaps they’ll fill in themselves. Bit by bit, your imagery is all over the place. Soon your website has different messages from your emails. Next, different areas of your business are doing some DIY with their own campaigns, taglines and sub brands. Your brand has become a marketing bodge job.
So how can you excite and unite your people behind your brand and stay in control?
What you can do
- Engage stakeholders early: Start with a stakeholder mapping exercise to understand what support and investment you need from who, and when. This will align people from all areas of the business and involve them in the development of the strategy. Consult, share and communicate. Remember, this is about bringing people along on the journey not about trying to collect every single opinion.
- Why should they care? Treat internal launch campaigns like an external campaign. Segment your audiences and understand what messages will work for each. Identify key barriers to belief and address them to communicate in a way that emotionally connects and demonstrates what’s in it for them.
- A new branded mug won’t cut it. Think beyond Powerpoint templates and new mugs. Keynote events create occasions where senior leaders can inspire and educate your team. Invite well-known external personality to explore key themes. Run interactive workshops with key influencers in the business.
- Bring brand and culture together: Make sure your internal culture is aligned with your brand. Help your people to live the brand by embedding it into their PDPs, their training, your recruitment and the culture of your office. The values you espouse internally need to match and reinforce those your brand stands for to customers.
- Make it easy: Invest in giving your people the tools they need to deliver your brand. Simplify strategy docs, create online toolkits, easy to use guidelines and a key messaging matrix that helps them deliver consistent communications. House it all in one place that everyone has access. Make sure you signpost and update the materials to keep your people engaged with your brand as it changes and evolves over time.
When we helped the UK’s leading safety distributor, Arco, refresh their brand, the launch event featured a surprise address from the legendary explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes on the importance of planning and end-to-end safety.
This was supported by a wide range of employee training materials, messaging examples, films and other communications assets to inspire and engage the entire workforce.
Starbucks don’t call their people ‘employees’ or ‘colleagues’, they refer to them as ‘partners’. A paragraph in their guidelines states: ‘We’re called partners because this isn’t just a job, it’s our passion. So go ahead and share it!’ As a result Starbucks people are brand advocates who regularly post enthusiastically and consistently about their brand on social media and live the brand in their daily roles.
Our strategy and creative teams have helped many businesses strengthen their brands, unite internal teams and create more distinctive employer brands
by helping them better define and articulate their intangible beliefs, values and culture into tangible behaviours and statements.
Through workshops, internal engagement, research, effective stakeholder management and good old creative brain power, we work with our clients to get under the skin of who they are as a business and what they stand for. We then bring this to life to express the brand’s unique culture and ways of working in a meaningful way that speaks to their people and customers.