Employees are one of your greatest assets and your most valuable audience. After all, a company is only as strong as the people who support it! And each team member plays an important role in helping your business grow.
Every business leader should guide people to understand their purpose in an organization. By clarifying your internal branding (and why you do what you do), you’ll inspire your team and spark innovation.
Read on to learn the steps you can take to define your internal brand and help your employees become brand champions.
Brand Champions & Internal Branding
A brand champion is anyone who interacts with, supports, and promotes your business. These people are excited about your company’s purpose — and they can effectively communicate that purpose to others.
Internal branding focuses on your team’s motivation to achieve a company’s objectives and to provide customer satisfaction. The goal of internal branding is to encourage employees to become brand champions. In other words, you want them to share your mission with customers, potential new hires, and other stakeholders. This happens when you build trust with your team, clearly explain why you do what you do, and guide them to understand how they fit into the bigger picture.
How to Help Employees Become Brand Champions
1. Clarify your brand’s message.
If your internal messaging is unclear, employees may struggle to communicate your brand’s mission to customers. They might also misunderstand their purpose within your business.
To combat this, outline your company’s key message points. You can think of your key message like a mission statement or set of core values — but easier to understand and remember. These points will answer questions such as:
- What goals are you heading toward as a business?
- What does your team stand for, and why does it matter?
- What do you do, and why do you do it?
Next, communicate these points to potential new hires, current employees, and community members. Employees will then understand why you do what you do, and where they fit into your company.
2. Invite employees into your mission.
You believe in a certain cause or solution, which is likely why you started (or came to) the organization in the first place. As a business leader, you can support others who share your beliefs and empower them to share your brand’s mission with others.
A lot of employees don’t fully understand their role within a business, or why it matters. But once they know why your company exists, and what their purpose is here, they can:
- Help customers realize how your business can support them.
- Be more productive and satisfied at work.
- Stay loyal to your brand.
- Have a sense of a larger purpose.
When your team knows and believes in your business’s mission, only then can they start to see how they fit into the big picture. Once employees understand their purpose within the brand, they’ll feel empowered to help you move the mission forward.
3. Put your people first.
Your employees are so much more important than your bottom line. Yes, they’re actively helping you grow your business with unique skill sets. But they’re also human beings with emotions, ideas, and lives outside of work. Respecting your teammates’ time and openly communicating with them are great ways to put your people first.
When you create a people-first culture, you will help them increase productivity, happiness at work, and loyalty to your brand. Knowing they come first will encourage your teammates to care about your business beyond their paycheck, too. When they believe in your cause — and when you put your words into action — they’ll go the extra mile for you.
4. Encourage professional development.
No business leader or employee should ever stop learning. Taking time to invest in your team’s education and training will help your employees stay up-to-date on any changes in your industry. Employees can also learn new skills or view a problem from a different angle when they have space to develop professionally. They might even come up with new ideas for improving customers’ experience with your brand.
Seek out opportunities to go to industry conferences or lectures, and encourage employees to do the same. You can also make time in everyone’s schedule for professional development days, educational courses, and so on.
5. Build a great company culture.
Employees have to love where they work to be genuine brand champions! One way to guide them in your internal branding is to build a solid company culture. Like we mentioned earlier, your people have lives outside of work. Make it a priority throughout your company to honor their days off and family commitments.
It’s also important to keep your employees in the loop; they should know why your business is doing what it’s doing. This will also empower them to make thoughtful, strategic decisions to best serve customers.
Finally, make sure you’re respecting everyone’s ideas. Brainstorming with employees can lead to innovation — and creative solutions that boost your brand.
Simon Sinek said it well: “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” And customers won’t love your business, or its “why,” until your team loves it first.
Clarifying why your mission matters, and why each employee matters, is a critical step in growing your business. Once you’ve helped your team understand their roles — as well as the collective goal you’re heading toward — they’ll be ready to champion your brand!
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Treefrog Marketing is an agency focused on small business and located in Lafayette, Indiana. We specialize in strategic marketing and advertising, graphic design, web design, social media, SEO, and more. For more information, please visit our website. You can also connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.