The Australian Small Business Blog

Thursday, February 23, 2006

So lets Brand from the Inside Out (or brand your people first)

A company, especially a new one, spends many weeks developing the "marketing message," examining and experimenting with slogan and logos. It is also not unusual to spend days determining brand colours before any launch is possible. There is however an area that is almost always forgotten in the planning phase of any company or the re-engineering of an established one. That area is the training whereby your people understand and project the new slogan and brand. Marketing starts from the inside and works it way into the domain of your customers.
Ask yourself these critical questions.

Do your people believe in your product and the services that you offer? Are they standing 100% behind you in the mission of your brand? Are they living your brand? It is important that your people are informed and involved in new initiatives and strategies that are taking place within your organisation.

If your people are unable or unwilling to support your marketing efforts it can have detrimental results. How can you begin your internal branding campaign within your organisation?

• Step 1: Synchronize Your Brand Personality, Values and Corporate Culture
Your marketing team should be working with the management and the Human Resources people to ensure that the common values of your organisation internally and externally are matched for greatest effect.

• Step 2: Get Your People behind Your Brand
Your criteria for recruiting and rewarding people need to be aligned with the criteria of the brand value. Look for the right skills and aptitudes that will represent your brand promise to the client. Do the new people value the same culture that you are trying to foster?

• Step 3: Reinforce and Repeatedly Explain Brand Values and Behaviours.
Use your internal communication to reinforce and develop the values and behaviours that reflect your brand promise. Continuously do this as if you are marketing to clients but now you are marketing your brand to your own people until it becomes the ethos within the company.
Involving your people is so important because your people meet, greet, speak to and assist your customers every day. They are the soul and face of your brand. Engage your people right from the start and encourage individual input.
Ask your people to form a focus group to develop your brand - after all who knows your client better than they do? By involving your people, you will not only have their support but you will be given insight and ideas that you otherwise may not have considered.

Developing your Brand's Strategy

Lesson 1 -- What is Branding A brand is officially defined as a "name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors”.Therefore, it makes sense to understand that branding is not about getting your target market to choose you over the competition, but it is about getting your prospects to see you as the only one that provides a solution to their problem.

A brand should be able to:
• Deliver the message clearly
• Confirm your credibility
• Connect to your target prospects emotionally
• Motivates the buyer impulse
• Create customer Loyalty
To succeed in branding you must understand the needs and wants of your customers and prospects. You do this by integrating your brand strategies through your organisation at every point of public contact.
Your brand resides within the hearts and minds of customers, clients, and prospects. It is the sum total of their experiences and perceptions, some of which you can influence, and some that you cannot.
A strong brand is invaluable in the battle for customer’s loyalty. It is important to spend time investing in researching, defining, and building your brand. Your brand is a promise to your consumer. It is the foundation in your marketing communication. It is being first in the mind of your customers.

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude."Thomas Jefferson1743-1826, Third President of the United States
Richard Gill is a Director of The Banner Lady


Dr Greg Chapman said...

Richard, this is a great article. You spell out a difficult subject in a way that is easy to understand. Can you do some more?

Stuart Evans said...

Richard, branding is an interesting subject which small business owners can neglect. Have you got any case studies/examples?


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