Most companies focus the majority of marketing efforts on external campaigns and activities, but an organization can find greater success when its brand and overall marketing strategies are strongly embedded in internal operations. A brand must be built from the inside out, and the truly progressive companies of 2014 will extend vision/mission, attitude and values beyond marketing and sales teams, by starting with their employees.
Your brand is a summation of all your touch points to the world, not just the ones that are obvious in traditional marketing. The designed communication you push to market will most likely deliver your messages in a straightforward and purposeful manner. But, the casual conversation one of your mid-level employees has with another employee or customer could have a much more direct impact – positive or negative.
In today’s era of social media and real-time feedback, a successful branding and marketing strategy has to be proactive. That means making sure your overly connected internal and external audiences believe in your brand messaging. Forward-thinking companies are looking at who they are today, who they need to be tomorrow and who they want to be in the short time frame. They are setting their brand to be aspirational and in line with their company culture.
With that said, a company can evolve to align with its brand. This usually takes a series of internal initiatives to reinforce and reward actions that promote the behaviors that will in turn drive the culture to match the desired brand. Like any serious change, this strategy should be planned, scheduled and managed as a true change initiative. It doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to be intentional. Employees must live the brand and understand your entire integrated marketing strategy.
This inside-out approach to marketing will result in building brand equity, and gaining loyal customers. I look forward to working with our clients to help them identify strategies that create success throughout 2014 and beyond.