Company branding typically focuses on attracting and engaging customers. Businesses want consumers to perceive them in the best light, but what about their staff? Internal branding is often neglected. It is assumed that every member of the team is already convinced and therefore they don’t need to be persuaded about the brand value. Is this a fair assumption?
Your brand at the heart of your organisation
You have a brand vision. Logos, straplines and advertising campaigns have been designed to share your message with your target audience. How can you ensure this vision underpins every interaction with your company?
To achieve brand consistency, it is important to align external and internal communication. Sell the vision to your team, as much as to your customers. You want every employee to buy into your brand and understand their role in putting it into action.
In short, you need to embed the brand in every aspect of the business.
Value your team
If you create eye-catching branded packaging, glossy brochures or striking ads for customers, do you think it is sufficient to send out a quick scribbled memo to staff about the latest updates?
Branded documents should be the standard for induction packs, training resources and the launch of new products, services or processes. If the message is important, you need to encourage your team to read it. Branding, infographics and other visuals make internal documents eye-catching. They will raise engagement, increase understanding and encourage buy-in.
Branded documents indicate that you value your team. This boosts their perception of your brand and encourages them to feel proud that they work for your company. In turn, this influences how they approach their role and has a positive impact on customer interactions.
With many employees still working remotely, there is even greater value in reinforcing the brand message in team communications, to keep everyone working from the same script!
When every member of your team embraces the brand values, the chance of achieving brand consistency and your company goals will soar.
Is brand consistency important?
A 2019 Brand Consistency Report by Lucid Press highlights the importance of consistency across all media. It identified that consistent presentation helps customers to associate with and trust in a brand. This contributes towards increasing revenue by as much as 33%.
In contrast, inconsistent brand usage is a cause of confusion for employees and customers. When messages and actions fail to align, it leads to misunderstanding and even resentment. These are not feelings that any company wants to associate with.
In addition, a brand that consistently identifies with a motive other than profit is viewed favourably by customers.
“If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand” – Howard Schultz
According to a 2019 Havas Group Report on Meaningful Brands, 77% of consumers buy from brands with shared values. The report reveals that consumers are looking for companies that are socially, environmentally and politically active.
Company branding isn’t simply about looking good and providing positive customer experiences. It also needs to take a stand, make an impact. This insight is backed up by the Harvard Business Review. It reports that 64% of customers cited shared values as the primary reason for engaging with a brand.
How to achieve brand consistency
The branding process creates guidelines or a style sheet to detail how the company should be presented. It typically includes company colours, typeface and font size but can also set out the tone of voice and specific terminology to be used in company messaging. Despite many companies having these guidelines, data reveals that only around a quarter stick to them for all external communications, even less for internal.
You can encourage employees to stick to the style sheet by:
- Involving employees in branding exercises, gathering their input and feedback. Greater involvement will develop a sense of ownership; it’s a message that involves them, rather than being dictated to them
- Setting up branded templates for internal documents, as well as external newsletters, press releases and advertising
- Encouraging all members of the team to follow the guidelines for internal communications
- Providing training on the guidelines and how to put them into practice
- Offering development opportunities that embed the values, such as fundraising or volunteering events for a relevant charity
First impressions count
Internal branding is viewed by others outside of your team. Consider other visitors to your premises; your suppliers, customers attending meetings and candidates coming for a job interview. What do they see when they come through the door? Beyond branded documents, are the company values being played out by the team?
Strong internal branding impacts how they perceive the brand. If it ties in with external marketing, it suggests authenticity and this builds trust. This can be the way to win contracts and attract talent to your team.
You can download an example Stylesheet template below. Populate this with your branding and share it with your team to ensure that any company communications, internal as well as external, really live your brand values.
3DVA can help you to achieve brand consistency. We offer a range of business documents in our template library. We can personalise any of these in line with your brand guidelines.
Brand Stylesheet: Free Download
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