By now, most businesses in Singapore would have (hopefully) realised the importance of having a strong external brand to win the hard-earned loyalty of their consumers. It’s been proven that customers who exhibit brand loyalty devote themselves (and their money) to a particular brand, and are willing to repeat purchases despite competitor efforts to lure them away.
However, did you know that there are more people that you have to appeal to – not just your external consumers?
Not many companies know of the importance of internal branding, instead choosing to focus on the external promises that they can make to their clients. In this article, we’ll be discussing the importance of attracting and retaining the right talents for your business through internal branding.
What is Internal Branding?
Internal branding is a corporate strategy employed by businesses to motivate their employees to live and breathe their brand promise. In this manner, it helps to shape the way your internal stakeholders interact with your customers and amongst themselves to keep the company running like a well-oiled machine. Essentially, having a strong internal brand is integral to the continued success of your brand.
Why is Having a Strong Internal Brand Important?
Your internal and external brand are in a symbiotic relationship – they depend heavily on each other, so much so that neglecting one would adversely affect the other, inevitable hurting the overall image of your brand.
Think of it this way – you currently have a product that is spoilt and requires servicing, which is covered under the warranty agreement from when you first bought it. You pick up the phone and dial the number provided… only to be matched with a grumpy customer service officer who doesn’t seem all that enthusiastic in helping you figure out your next steps.
The service you receive frustrates you, and it’s with a burst of anger and indignance that you declare: “I’m never buying anything from this company again!” There’s silence on the other end of the line… And then to add to the insult, the customer service officer sniggers.
The above scenario is the perfect example of an unmotivated employee who is not aligned to the company’s internal brand. The unmotivated employee then projects the misalignment outwardly to the customer, inevitably damaging the external, client-facing brand.
This underscores the idea that both your internal and external brand cannot function without the other. For your brand to attain authenticity, your business must focus on both. Sadly, most companies neglect internal branding, as they believe that it is the employee’s responsibility to assimilate and adjust to the company without much effort on the employer’s part.
The Responsibility of an Employer
Google “Millennials and Gen-Zs job” and the next autofill word will probably be “hoppers”. Utterly different from their older counterparts, the younger generation of working adults are perceived to be more detached and willing to change careers and jobs in search for greener pastures.
And greener pastures don’t necessarily mean a higher salary.
Millennials and Gen Z employees are interested in what comes with their job, as much as the pay. This covers a broad spectrum, such as the employee experience, perks, or even the purpose of the company in bettering the world.
As much as the older employers might disagree with this ideology, the fact of the matter is that Millennials and Gen-Zs make up more than half of our current workforce. Our job-hoppers are quickly hopping their way into becoming the mainstay in keeping our economy running. This is why it’s incredibly important for brands to strategise and brand internally to attract and retain the right talent for your brand.
Tips for Internal Branding
Good employees are hard to come by, and when they do, businesses would want to do all they can in their power to ensure that they stay. Here are several tips on crafting a solid foundation for your internal brand.
Define your brand’s strategy, including the company’s vision, mission, and values for your employees. Are they workable, measurable, and achievable? Are they inspiring, and motivational?
Engage your employees in the discussion – after all, they are the backbone of your company. Their input is valuable, and understanding what, how and why they feel a certain way helps you strategise and formulate your next steps.
Align both your internal and external brand together – do they work hand-in-hand to portray a valuable and positive image of your brand, and is it authentic, both internally and externally?
Invest time, effort, and money, in both your strategies, and employees. Doing so will help your brand form an unshakeable bond with your employees, and foster a deeper understanding about the common goal of the company amongst your employees.
Reward your employees for their demonstration of being true to the brand. Recognise their efforts, and this will explain to other employees how the brand strategy can be implemented by everyone in their day-to-day roles.
The Benefits of an Internal Brand
There are many benefits to internal branding, the first of which is that employees will have a stable foundation in the company. Everyone likes to know where and how they fit in, and where they are going as a collective team. Internal branding does just that, uniting and motivating your employees to a common vision, mission, and set of values to progress together as a team.
Secondly, internal branding helps employees deliver the brand’s products and services in a persuasive manner. This affects how they share about your brand to their friends, family, and even customers, uplifting and enforcing a positive external brand for your company. Your employees will essentially become brand ambassadors, capable of representing the brand in all aspects of their life.
Lastly, internal branding helps to smoothen communication channels within the company. There are many ways to reinforce your internal brand, such as ensuring that the collateral shared amongst the staff is consistent with the business’s external brand strategy. With a consistent set of guidelines to guide their work; employees are not burdened with the need to flesh out new templates every single time they set out to work on a project. All these helps to streamline the processes in the company into a seamless, unified flow.
Interested in Learning More About Internal Branding?
Here’s a look at how we helped Wesmech Engineering with their branding strategies, both internal and external.
Are you looking to plan strategies for your brand’s future? Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Enterprise Singapore has increased the cost defrayed for each branding project from 70% to 80%.
For a complimentary, no-obligations, brand audit, contact us today.