Marketing plan created. Check. Brand essence. Check. Brand personality. Check. Strategy. Check.
Something, though, is missing. And the question hits you: “Ok, my external branding is fine, but what about my internal branding? Do my employees know what the brand stands for? Is it internalized?”
Internal branding must be part of anyone’s marketing plan. Having employees who internalize and live out the brand and its values will help them exceed customers’ expectations, which, in turn, will make those customers loyal believers in your brand.
Think of sports teams; each player is an employee and that player embodies the shirt he wears and the traditions of the team.
When Manchester United players put on the jerseys, they know they are wearing the history and tradition of the club; I’d even say, even before they put on the jerseys, they grasp that. Even when players leave for other clubs, they always remark that Manchester United is in their hearts and that they were part of a great family. And when Baltimore Ravens players gear up for a game, they inevitably what the colors and the logo mean.
Internal branding means getting your employees to understand the why of the brand, the core values of your brand and your company, which is reflected in the brand and its essence.
Doing this, employees will no longer feel that they are working for just another company; they will feel that they are part of something larger than themselves and will want to represent that to the outside world. When you go into an Apple store, it is evident of the success of Apple’s internal branding, and this can be seen the in products their creators and designers come up with.
To achieve internal branding, you should first survey your employees to get a sense of how they view the company. Questions such as What do you believe we do?, How do you see your role in the company?, What do we stand for? will deliver good responses. If they are vastly different from each other, and from what you as the boss believes about the brand, then internal branding must be done.
Even if there’s not much difference, you should still perform internal branding. Why? Because any slight difference means that the brand’s core values are not properly understood. When all employees are on the same page about the brand’s core values, this will help them perform their jobs at a higher level, and help consumers understand the brand more efficiently.