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Building a Better Internal Brand: Part 1
By: Janet Kalandranis
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Brand success starts on the inside. Not with customers, not with products, but with building a branded team that supports the business inside and out. Much of this success — why some go far and why others only last a short time — is connected to the leadership of the brand. In order to build a successful team that can take the brand places now and in the future, there must be a clear vision. This comes from the top, and it must be an open book.

At a time when customers have access to all sorts of information, the same expectation is placed upon brands. This is true for the customer but also true for those working to build the brand. They want to know the plan, understand it, and be part of it. These are the building blocks for creating a solid internal structure that no doubt is felt on the public side of the brand. Oh, and none of this has to be perfect. Customers and associates want real transparency that is honest and human and takes them on the journey of the brand. No, all plans don’t have to be detailed and answers don’t all have to make sense, but there must be messages and there must be answers. There’s a balance between wisdom and heart that brand builders are looking to feel from senior leadership. It gets them engaged, it makes them believe, and it builds a strong internal brand.

So what do brands get when they are transparent and honest at the top?

Problems are Solved and Faster: When associates understand the true issue at hand and all its implications they are given the tools to find a solution. By hiding problems or omitting information, associates are at a disadvantage to providing a beneficial answer for the brand. And no, admitting there are problems is not a negative. It's a positive. With a strong brand team, they are more likely and more engaged to help the brand win.

Teams Actually Work Together: With transparency at the top, there is a natural tendency for teams to form and unity to be a result. Groups feel as though they are working towards a common goal and part of a bigger purpose. They are not simply checking tasks off a list but are part of the brand's success and feel engaged to work through the good weeks and those tough ones. This provides the platform for individual success as well as a group victory. And these are definite wins for any brand.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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