Do your employees know what your brand promises to consumers? Do they believe that promise? If they don’t believe it, then why should your customers?
Internal brand building is a key component of developing a successful franchise. Your employees are your most powerful brand advocates, but if they don’t know what the brand promise is, why it matters to consumers, and how to talk about it, then you’ve lost a big opportunity to generate word-of-mouth marketing and deliver best in class customer service.
To help you understand the importance of internal brand building, here are five ways that it can boost your franchise’s success.
1. Personal Accountability
Do your employees understand how they personally fit into the brand and the business? I’m not talking about their roles and responsibilities. I’m talking about how their efforts and performance affect not just the company’s bottom-line but also the brand’s reputation and potential for future success.
When employees understand the differences that their contributions make, they will take on greater personal accountability for their daily performance.
2. Emotional Connections
Brands that build emotional connections with consumers are the strongest in the world, so it shouldn’t be surprising that building emotional connections between your employees and your brand should be equally important in your list of strategic priorities.
When people feel emotionally connected to a brand, they talk about it, defend it, and can’t stop themselves from spreading the word about it to others. Those are the employees you want on your team, so create brand experiences that foster those emotional connections internally.
3. Stronger Relationships
When all employees understand, believe in, and support your franchise’s brand promise, they’ll feel like they’re all working toward common goals. Collaboration will improve, productivity goes up, and morale gets a much-needed boost.
Rather than working to achieve their individual tasks, they’re working together to do whatever it takes to reach the brand’s goals.
4. Clarity of Focus
A fundamental marketing truth is that a focused brand is a strong brand. Just as your brand needs focus, so do your employees.
By supporting a laser-focused brand, employees feel equally focused. They can self-identify distractions and stay on course to achieve goals without being micro-managed.
5. Company Commitment
When your employees believe in your brand promise, they’ll want the brand (and your franchise) to succeed. They’ll be proud to be a member of your team because they’ll know that they play an important part in delivering on a promise that matters to consumers.
Just as consumers become loyal to a brand, so do employees. As a result, employee retention will increase.
The Leader’s Role in Internal Brand Building
The leaders of your franchise play the most important role in internal brand building. They must “live” the brand promise and provide an example for employees to emulate.
Remember, you can’t expect your employees to believe your brand promise if you and the other members of your leadership team don’t believe it and live it every day.
Finally, never assume that your employees understand your brand promise. Even if they nod their heads and say they get it, don’t take their quick acquiescence as buy-in.
Being able to re-iterate the brand promise and actually understanding why it matters to consumers, to the franchise, and to their future employment stability are very different things. Only when they can do the latter do they really “get” your brand promise.