Developing Internal Brand Ambassadors

In a world where a company’s greatest asset is its team, isn’t it time for us to look a little closer at our internal brands?

An internal adoption plan lays the foundation for specific strategies to inform, educate, motivate and reward employees for becoming internal brand ambassadors.

Many organizations go through the time and expense of a brand discovery process and successfully launch external marketing campaigns only to discover that the experience they promised their customer isn’t delivered internally. Once this occurs, they have most likely lost that customer and, in turn, hurt the brand they worked so hard to discover and communicate.

Living the brand is definitely the more difficult part of the brand process and it is out of the control of any single individual. Communicating the importance of delivering the experience and giving the organization’s brand top priority is the CEO’s job, but the delivery of the experience can only be realized through the
staff who touch the customers once they have transitioned from wanting the experience they read about and saw in the marketing materials.

Even the best-laid advertising plans can only take a company brand so far—it is usually the customer experience that creates the kind of energy and word-of-mouth referrals necessary to sustain a brand. So, what does it take to create Internal Brand Ambassadors who ensure the brand promise is delivered upon each and every day? Three words—communication, training and tools. Internal brand adoption is a top-down initiative. Senior
management must engage the team in believing in the brand, understanding the importance of the brand promise and delivering the experience. The message must be delivered to employees in a way in which they not only start to understand their role in executing the brand, but actually start to internalize
it and live it. On-going recognition and rewarding those who exemplify the brand is of the utmost importance. The most important element in building a brand-driven business is the employees; without their believe, guidance, ownership and participation, it is truly an impossible task.

We have found that small- to mid-size businesses do not consider the importance of budgeting for internal brand adoption. You can spend all the money you want on external marketing and advertising, but if the experience with your brand isn’t a good one at every touch point within your organization, you are just throwing money to the wind…