Your brand is like an iceberg. The part that’s visible to the outside world is just the small fragment breaking the surface of the ocean. The internal brand is the chunk of the iceberg beneath the surface.
The internal brand is massive and it’s massively important.
When employees are invested in the brand, they become more effective advocates and more engaged workers. And that gives them real power to affect revenue for your company.
Need proof? Look no further than the intense customer-first mentality of Zappos, the dedication to product innovation at Apple, and the challenges at Uber that led CEO Travis Kalanick to resign and landed the company on the cover of TIME.
No wonder it’s so critical to think beyond external marketing assets and invest in getting internal stakeholders aligned to your brand.
Wait, Isn't a Brand just a Logo?
The concept of internal branding isn’t natural to some. We’ve been conditioned to think of a brand as a logo and tagline, but there’s far more to branding than that.
Your brand is the emotional and psychological relationship that your prospects and customers have with your company. Marketing assets – like your logo and tagline – are an important part of the equation.
However, they’re not the entire equation.
Yes, prospects and customers experience your brand through exposure to marketing-owned messages. They also experience your brand by coming into contact with your products and people.
It’s that last element that highlights the importance of internal branding.
Thinking Beyond Marketing Assets.
In complex B2B sales environments, prospects and customers are as likely to interact with an employee as with a carefully-crafted marketing message. Internal branding ensures that the employee is in lockstep with the brand promise.
Think of all the pieces of the customer lifecycle that marketing either doesn’t own or of which marketing shares ownership including Sales, Customer Service, Product Management, and support or administrative functions like Legal, Finance, and Procurement or Supply Chain.
You need to consider: Are the employees in these functions on message? Are their deliverables on brand? Is their behavior in alignment?
Do all of these pieces of the machine work together to deliver a consistent customer experience from the first digital ad to completion of the first contract, repeat purchase, and beyond?
You may have the sharpest logo and wittiest tagline in your industry. But, if you’re ignoring your internal brand, you’re merely scratching the surface. And, as with an iceberg, the bulk of the brand is beneath it.
By Maria Trysla – Marketing Strategy for B2B Companies.
For more branding insights, check out my 4 Steps to Revitalizing Your B2B Brand or send me a message on LinkedIn.
About CMG Partners
CMG enables complex organizations to realize their market potential, becoming more agile, and more focused on growth. We’re strategists and practitioners in equal measure, backing up our thinking with a sharp understanding of execution. Clients from Fortune 500 powerhouses to startup ventures trust CMG to lead category-changing marketing strategies to success. We deliver strategy, go-to-market, agile and analytical programs with speed and dexterity.