While it might not seem intuitive to start an article about internal communications by focussing on a company brand, hopefully we can convince you that this is exactly the right place to start.
Put simply, if you engage employees in a branding or rebranding process, from the very beginning, they will all know the vision and direction of the business from a broader perspective then their own small role, and will find it much easier to communicate that as a result.
But let’s begin by looking at what causes some of the challenges of internal communications within companies, drawing on the experience Frost Creative has of working with management and leadership teams to help resolve challenges.
Our team has spent time with employees, customers, management and teams from across different levels of a broad range of businesses. We use staff interviews and workshops to support the branding process which has given us insight into some common internal communication issues – and how brand overcomes them.
Internal communication challenges
One of the key challenges is the silo mentality. Departments – particularly in very large corporations – work to their own timetables, goals and ideas without having an overall view of the business.
Marketing works in isolation from the sales team. HR doesn’t work closely with PR. Legal is only brought on to resolve problems. Production and manufacturing are continuing the day job and not involved with any other teams.
When each department also has its own budget it can become even more isolating with each department focussed on its own business goals. Another problematic aspect is when different departments work with different agencies.
In large companies you can find HR working with an employer brand agency while marketing are using a completely different agency for the main brand and everything can become disjointed very quickly – leading to internal communication struggles.
No-one is to blame for this scenario – it is incredibly common across larger companies and everyone is trying their best but it can prove incredibly difficult to envision how to improve things and make the company work better and more efficiently. This is where branding comes to the fore.
Bring in the brand
Brand should tie all of the departments together with a common aim. Brand is why the business exists, why it works the way it does and why customers buy from it. It should also be the reason why staff choose to work at the company. Getting the brand right, from the start, makes it much easier for staff to see the bigger picture while doing the day job.
Building the brand correctly at the beginning will ensure consistency of message and marketing throughout the firm. It will help the business sell better to customers and boost the bottom line – it’s about building it correctly from the start.
One of the key things businesses need to realise from the beginning is that having multiple brands – one for employers and one for marketing – isn’t necessary and doesn’t work. It’s just important to get the brand right from the outset.
If you are facing a rebrand, whether following a merger, or just to relaunch the business then you need to examine the issues and make sure the new brand will work across all areas of the business.
For example, a logo which looks great on the outside of the office also needs to work on sales material and a press ad. But the brand needs to be about far more than a logo. Brand strategy needs to answer questions such as:
- How will this brand bring our marketing and customer service teams into alignment so that customers better experience our values?
- How will this brand help to engage with our employees so they better understand our vision and business direction?
- How will the rebrand help us to engage with customers and boost sales
- How will this rebrand help our business to attract and retain the best employees?
Having the branding correct from the start or strategically improved following a rebrand, can have a positive impact on the business including engaging staff, boosting sales and customer number growth.
If you’d like to find out more about how the team at Frost Creative has approached branding for some of the UKs leading companies, and how we could help your business, then please do get in touch.