Internal Branding

Scott Hamilton of Allign, recently spoke about Internal Branding at a CICAMA meeting. Following are some insights I gleaned from that talk. Enjoy!

The information presented in the talk came from six years of experience through over 550 focus groups.

In a nutshell, internal branding is the foundation for your brand’s external image with a main purpose of creating a rational and emotional connection to your brand.

In 2007, the domestic budget for external marketing was 445 billion, while the budget for internal branding was less than 1 billion, which is still a 120% increase since last year. These numbers indicate that at a minimum you should understand what internal branding means to your business, and optimally, implement an internal branding strategy.

The following four goals can serve as guide posts as you begin to consider your internal branding strategy:

  • Build market context.
  • Develop adaptability.
  • Create employee commitment vs. engagement.
  • Measurable results.

One of the most important factors when implementing an internal branding strategy is commitment from your employees to the external marketing brand image. This type of commitment fosters creative contribution from your employees, which now allows you to tap into targeted knowledge because of the direct interaction your employees have with your clients.

The first thing to do is an assessment along with a definition of your specific goals. Following are some items to consider throughout this process:

  • What do employees need to know?
  • What do employees need to believe?
  • What do employees need to do?
  • What is the required investment?
  • Focus on the big picture down to the connection of your employees roles.
  • What will be your brand experience?
  • Analyze all customer touch points.
  • Find metrics that shows the employees their results.
  • Turn employees to marketers. (e.g. Give employees methods to promote on off time, like coupons)
  • Determine and anchor your top five brand values.

Using this process you can move your business from commodity, to manufacturer, to defined services to a defined experience, similar to what Starbucks has done.

Do you have an internal branding strategy?

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