What is Internal Branding and Why It Should Play a Central Role in Your Marketing Strategy

Your brand is your company’s core identity. Internal branding is the process of bringing your brand to your own organization. It is teaching your employees what your brand is, teaching them about the brand and bringing the brand into the company culture.

External branding is universally understood as important, though it is often mistaken for marketing and sales. The more easily customers understand and identify with your brand, the more likely they are to buy from you. External branding thus has a direct correlation with sales, as long as you keep your products aligned with both the customer’s needs and your corporate identity.

The need for internal branding is less commonly recognized beyond handing someone their first corporate uniform and teaching them about the product line. Internal branding is rarely as well planned as external marketing campaigns. While teaching customers about the products themselves may be routine for new hires, teaching them about the core customer demographic, how people use the product or service and the “why” of what they do may not be routinely done.

Why Internal Branding Should Play a Central Role in Your Marketing Strategy

Why is internal branding essential to your marketing strategy? If your employees don’t understand your core customer demographic, they may try to sell your product or service to the wrong market segment, wasting their time and missing out on more likely clients.

If your own employees don’t believe in your brand, they won’t be able to sell that idea to customers, and their conversion rates will fall. Conversely, when your employees are loyal to the company brand through internal branding, they are not just enthusiastic salespeople but brand ambassadors, as well.

If they haven’t been trained in what your brand represents, they won’t convey it consistently to your customer base. That results in confusion when they make mistakes conveying the company message and undermining your intended external brand.

You also have to make your brand part of your company culture. This helps you weed out those who are a poor fit for your company’s mission, such as the employees who hate children trying to work at a children’s wear store or people who look down on the working class trying to work for a contract labor office. It is better to induct new employees into the company culture as part of their training, teaching them the values, vision and mission of the company as you teach them about the brand and its products. Conversely, teaching employees about the company brand as part of their process lets you identify poor fits early on; you can either correct their attitudes or ignorance or let them go, but they become a poor interface between the company and the customer.

The Bottom Line Impact of Internal Branding

For businesses, the importance of internal branding depends on its impact on the bottom line. One benefit of internal branding and using it to create a shared corporate culture is improved cooperation between employees, because they all feel like they are part of the same team. Companies with a stronger corporate culture see lower turnover and higher job satisfaction. This has a direct impact on the bottom line when you don’t have to waste money constantly recruiting new team members. It improves the company’s finances indirectly when the employees are more willing to go the extra mile for the team, whether working overtime or investing extra effort each shift.

You’re also more likely to have employees share their ideas on how to improve the product or service when they feel like part of the team, leading to greater innovation and profits over the long term. If you run a service organization, internal branding and a strong company culture result in improved customer service. And repeat business, in this case, always helps the bottom line.

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