Last month I talked about the brand promise you make to your customer, and how to communicate that promise through your external marketing.
This month, let’s look at your internal marketing – what many companies refer to as Internal Communication. I prefer to describe it as part of your marketing, to make it clear that this is not just a practical function to inform your employees of useful information; it’s a key component in building and communicating your brand to your customers.
When I work with one of my clients to strengthen their brand, we always start by defining and understanding the very essence of the brand, what I call your brand’s soul: your values and beliefs, the promise you make to your customers, and the story of your brand. How did the business come about? Who started it, and why? What belief or ambition drives the company and its founders? While every business exists to make a profit, in any successful company there will always be a desire to make life better in some way. In this way, every brand has a great tale to tell, and we can use this to engage and motivate your people.
As humans, we are hardwired to respond to stories, and they are very powerful tools for us to use. Align your people with your brand story, encourage them to believe in the value of what they do, your common purpose and what your brand stands for, and you‘ll build a powerful team of advocates. And they will become your strongest promotional asset, as their love of your brand will shine through to your customers.
So you can see how your internal marketing runs parallel to your external marketing. If your employees are to feel motivated to genuinely live and breathe your brand, it’s essential they buy into your story and values at an emotional level, just as we encourage your customers to do.
Happily, workers are increasingly looking for a career that satisfies their craving for a sense of purpose in what they do, particularly among younger people.
A recent survey from Universum, a global research firm, suggests that “Millennials want to truly understand a company’s purpose, align with it, and work with others to propel the organisation’s performance.”
The soul of your brand is also your greatest recruitment tool, as it’s central to why the best people will want to work for you. A competitive salary and package are common; your story and values are unique.
Use your story in your internal marketing and you’ll bring your whole organisation together into a powerful, cohesive brand-building team. Involve employees in the process, help them own the story that they are part of, and encourage them to visualise the new chapters that you can write together.