The importance of internal branding
Strong internal branding is vital to the success of all external branding efforts, ensuring employee commitment to company values and an understanding of how to deliver them. Many organizations, however, neglect internal branding.
- Internal branding goes beyond communication to evolving employee behavior and company culture
- Involve employees: create excitement around a central theme to inform, engage and persuade
- Successful internal branding is a journey, not a one-and-done activity; it will cement employee commitment to the company and ensure alignment with its values and behavior, helping with recruitment, retention and relationships at every customer touchpoint
Branding starts from the inside. Employees must understand and embrace everything about the brand: its positioning (what it means relative to the category and competition), its values (what it stands for) and its purpose (why it exists). Only then can the brand be delivered effectively to the customer. When companies ignore or minimize internal branding, behavior and communication, their marketing efforts are undermined and compromised. A strong internal branding effort strengthens the company from the inside out, giving employees the tools to communicate effectively to the market on an ongoing basis.
An effective internal marketing strategy strengthens the overall brand in multiple ways: it helps ensure consistent customer experiences (particularly through interactions with employees); it encourages employees to embrace brand values and contribute to the brand promise, thereby working more effectively towards the same goals; and it creates authoritative brand ambassadors from within who not only know company culture, but live it.
In this paper, we discuss internal branding—its central importance in an effective marketing strategy, its ongoing benefits both internally and externally and suggestions for best practices. Along the way, we highlight three powerful examples of internal branding that infuses company values into all aspects of the culture, so that employees become true representatives of the brand.