Employee communications

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The “Other” Market: Internal Branding and Content Crucial for Employee Engagement

27 February 2018
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Normally, branding and content refers to the marketing initiatives your company is pushing out to your target customers or target audience. But selling your brand to your own employees is as important for the long-term success of any company.

Think of your employees as the “other” market. Yes, in order to pay the bills and everyone’s salary, you have to make sales, and outside marketing can be a huge part of that. But if your employees aren’t sold on your products or services, or, worse yet, they aren’t sold on your company’s vision or mission statement, that sentiment can grow like a cancer and become terminal quickly.

Developing an Internal Branding and Content Language

Usually, the companies best at internal branding and content develop their own jargon to go along with their policies. This way, a company can create a proprietary language universal across all departments and locations. With everyone speaking the same language, togetherness and a sense of community will soon follow.

Most workers are resistant to full-fledged internal marketing initiatives and endless branding meetings. If you can simply slip a few of ‘your words,’ right from your mission statement and brand identity description into everyday communication, you’re practicing internal marketing initiatives every day.

Make the Brand Feel Alive

Internal branding and content should have many of the same principles of marketing to customers. You want your brand to forge an emotional connection for your employees. When your employees have similarly good reactions to your brand just like your customers, you’re doing the right thing.

Marketing your brand to your employees is of course different from marketing it externally. Many executives shun internal branding because they take it as a given that all their employees have already bought in and are behind it.

Seasoned employees know the positive traits of your brand’s product or service backwards and forwards. New employees will know soon enough. You don’t need to explain all this to them. Instead, use those positive attributes everyone knows to create narratives. Share some of the positive customer feedback you’ve heard with your employees to show them their hard work is helping people and paying off. Show them the positive work they’re doing as clearly and as explicitly as possible every day.

Not all Internal Marketing Has to be Overt

Employees will resist constant internal marketing schemes loaded with hyper-specialized branding content designed to make employees feel good about the brand they’re representing. Explaining your vision and mission to your employees, even those who have heard the message before, is valuable for internal marketing, but it doesn’t all have to be overt in an easy-to-read package.

Sometimes, just showing what your products or services can do for customers is internal marketing. Sharing testimonials can be internal marketing. Sharing the success of an employee who went above and beyond in embodying your vision and mission statement can be its own form of internal marketing, too. The goal is togetherness, and an emotional force operating behind the brand.

Ben Renner

Ben Renner is an HR expert, writer, and Senior Editor of the Employee Communications Council. He has lived and managed his own business in Denver, Colorado since 2013. Connect with him on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ben-renner-97708099/

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