Branding has become more than just a fancy logo or a catchy tagline. It’s the way businesses present themselves to the world, and it’s how customers perceive and connect with them. While branding has always been focused on creating an external image, businesses that understand the importance of branding from the inside-out have an added advantage in the market. We should also note that branding today is not just a communications strategy or idea, it’s a behavioral one. The brand strategy supports your business strategy, they’re entwined like strands of DNA. Your brand strategy will then inform your marketing, HR, sales and operations etc.
The most successful brands in the world understand this, but regardless of the stage of growth, your business is at, looking at your brand from the inside will help you succeed in the long run.
What is Inside-out branding?
Inside-out branding is a strategic approach that focuses on building a brand from the inside out. Instead of starting with the external brand image, businesses that adopt an inside-out approach define their brand values, align their internal culture and operations, and develop a brand strategy that communicates these values and cultural elements.
But why is Inside-out branding important?
Stronger company culture from alignment around a brand’s values
When a business aligns its internal culture and operations with its brand values, it creates a more cohesive and authentic brand that reflects the business’s core strengths. This approach ensures that everyone in the organisation understands the brand values and works towards achieving them. A strong internal brand culture ensures that employees are more engaged and motivated, which leads to better productivity, retention, and overall business success.
People, particularly in the service businesses (solicitors, accountants, IT), ARE your brand. They need to live and breathe it.
In service businesses, employees are the face of the brand, and how they interact with customers can make or break a brand’s reputation. When employees live and breathe the brand values, they are more likely to create positive experiences for customers, which leads to customer loyalty and advocacy.
A more cohesive brand that reflects a business’s core strengths
When businesses define their brand values, they have a better understanding of what makes them unique. By aligning their internal culture and operations with these values, they create a more cohesive brand that reflects their core strengths. This approach ensures that the brand is authentic and resonates with customers, which leads to increased brand loyalty and advocacy.
A strong and authentic brand builds customer loyalty
When a business has a strong and authentic brand, it builds trust and credibility with customers. Customers are more likely to do business with a brand that they trust, which leads to increased loyalty and advocacy. This approach also helps businesses differentiate themselves from their competitors, which is especially important in crowded markets.
How do businesses start to build a brand from the inside-out?
Define brand values: Businesses need to define their brand values by understanding what makes them unique and what they stand for. This involves a deep dive into the business’s mission, vision, and core values.
Align internal culture and operations: Once businesses define their brand values, they need to align their internal culture and operations with these values. This involves hiring employees who align with the brand values, training employees on the brand values, and ensuring that internal communications reflect the brand values.
Develop a brand strategy: Businesses need to develop a brand strategy that communicates their brand values and cultural elements. This includes creating a brand story, messaging, and visual identity that aligns with the brand values.
Live and breathe the brand values: Finally, businesses need to live and breathe their brand values. This means that everyone in the organisation needs to understand and embrace the brand values and work towards achieving them.
To summarise, inside-out branding is a key element of future brand success. By building a brand from the inside out, businesses can create a more cohesive and authentic brand that reflects their core strengths. This approach leads to stronger company culture, more engaged employees, increased customer loyalty, and a competitive advantage in the market. So, if you want to create a brand that outperforms others, start building it from the inside-out!
If you want to learn how you can reinvigorate your brand and build a company culture that can support your long term objectives, let’s talk.