People-driven branding: are you neglecting internal input?

When it comes to branding, most companies automatically assume that their customers are the most influential target group for ensuring brand adoption success. Those that adopt this view risk missing out one of their most critical brand “make or break” potential advocacy groups: their own staff.

People-driven branding

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Firms will spend vast amounts of money on marketing campaigns to extend brand efforts into the marketplace, but they often forget to leverage the vast competence and power that they have in their workforce. Customer surveys are one thing, but an annual staff survey may tell an entirely different story.

The vital role of HR

In fact, the HR team can actually be viewed as a vital adjunct to the success of the marketing, communication and operational teams when it comes to ensuring brand success. This is a leap of understanding for many traditional marketers but an obvious asset when you consider the power of employee engagement, viral marketing and internal communications and referrals.

Consider best-in-class firms such as Starbucks, which has placed thousands of its employees into free university courses, or firms such as Wal-Mart that have extremely passionate, values-driven ethics that translate into extremely loyal staff. Google and Amazon are famous for their benefits and perks, and their approach means that their staff will willingly sing the firm’s praises and regularly see results in terms of recruitment applications, customer loyalty, and profit margin upswings.

Engaging staff into becoming brand advocates

By transforming passive or disengaged staff into brand advocates, the power of formal marketing can leap exponentially. Imagine all of your staff having spontaneous, authentic conversations with potential customers about how fantastic your firm and products are without prompting or forcing those messages.

Knowing how to make it happen

Of course, understanding the potential of this and knowing how to make it happen are two very different things. Internal communications need to be spot on and engagement strategies need to be put in place. Branding internally must be a leadership priority, and personal branding must be aligned with corporate branding. A brand innovation agency such as can help you with your branding strategy and ensure that your internal resources are correctly aligned for maximum impact.

When it comes to embedding a successful brand, don’t forget the impact and potential value of your staff.

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