Feb 28 2014
Fewer than half of employees believe in their company’s brand.
Even less are equipped to deliver to on it.
Often, this happens when a company focuses all its brand launch efforts on external messaging and media, leaving your team feeling disengaged and skeptical. But, recently, we’ve seen more and more brand repositions work best when they are spearheaded from the inside and by top-level leaders who believe that investing long-term efforts internally first, nurtures a better attitude toward change and greater benefits when the brand reaches your clients.
So, how do you drive success for your team and motivate them to view a brand launch as a catalyst that reframes their own view of the company, boosts them to a new mission, and engages them in change? Here are four tips to leading an internal brand launch plan.
Start on the inside. The days of beginning with the client are long gone. If your team doesn’t believe in, isn’t motivated by or isn’t able to deliver your brand positioning then how will your client be affected by it? While emotional influence, nuanced language and smart messaging gets noticed, it can sometimes be difficult to translate or relate back to by your team. Internally, your team has to be on board first. To encourage their understanding of the change, they’ll look for a playbook on behaviors and activities that are memorable, valuable and rewarded. They need a powerful manifesto to stand behind and simple messaging to know how to talk about it so that everyone knows, repeats and lives the brand positioning on a daily basis. Beginning from within also means adding a diverse group of participants into the process whose buy-in to the brand positioning will be important. After all, when the brand positioning is rolled out, it’s these people who will be leading the process and sharing it with your clients.
Trickle-down. Gradually more, top-level executives are the ones rolling out the brand idea internally, not marketers. When done well, brand launches are announced from the top and united with the company’s vision and values, personal leadership commitments and noticeable changes for your team to experience. After all, a brand repositioning is a powerful tool to ignite excitement and higher performance in teams. A new brand positioning is more than a campaign idea, its motivational ideas, training and tools that help your team tell a story – one with inspirational and revived brand language, not a heavy dose of executive speak. If your leaders can share what the brand means to them, it will subsequently cascade to every team member in your company.
Invest and create. Today’s leaders are initiating bold internal rollout plans assembled well in advance of that first announcement and they are packing them with emotion – a quick all-hands meeting and announcement won’t suffice. Instead, a much higher level of effort and longer lead times to prepare an internal launch is needed to train your team with scenarios and role playing exercises and tools so that the brand positioning is totally embedded and impacts their daily work. The same creative energy can be applied to the way that an external campaign finds its way inside the building. To really take advantage of the moment, your team should be immersed in the brand experience, which requires fore-thought, an investment, and creative ways to engage members on the inside.
Share the secret. Most teams are already connected. Embrace the fact that they tweet, post, comment and spread the word like rapid fire. Approach an internal rollout in a way that compels them to act as a channel to share the news. As part of the launch, allow them to preview creative advertising and messaging. Provide a social media tool kit to share. Produce unique content for them to circulate on their own. And, empower your team to blog about it. In today’s world, it’s human nature to spread the word, so why not start internally, where the brand positioning is based.