It’s no secret anymore that an essential element of an internal brand launch or refresh starts with a powerful employee brand engagement program. But to make the introduction of your new brand more than an announcement at an all-staff Town Hall meeting, or a coffee mug with a new logo, you’ll need to inform, teach and engage with your employees so they can understand, and learn how to act “on-brand.”
Every organization is different, but here are five proven secrets to keep in mind when developing your employee brand engagement.
1. Think like an insider.
Understand what your employees need to know, who influences them and how they learn. Brand may seem like a soft communication to many people. Showing that your brand strategy can help realize the goals of your business strategy can make converts across your organization.
2. Put the right team in charge.
A multi-disciplinary team representing branding, HR, training, Learning & Development and internal communication will give you a broader perspective with more insight and guidance on how to reach and engage effectively with employees. By enfranchising these sometimes disparate departments, you will be able to reach employees during all phases of their worklife – from on-boarding to performance reviews to daily work.
3. Make a commitment.
An employee brand engagement program that’s all fireworks and no substance will soon fizzle out after introduction. Considering that a new brand takes time to be accepted among employees (as it will with your customers and prospects), you will need top-level buy-in and resources from senior leaders to maintain your program for months. You’ll lose credibility if you start and stop half way through a program.
4. Ride the curve.
Support for an employee brand engagement program aligns with a traditional Bell curve. The front of the curve is typically made up of allies who will immediately embrace a new brand when they understand its rationale and importance. The front of the rising curve are fast followers who, once they are engaged, will follow the leaders. Employees on the tentative back of the curve often need more encouragement and explanation to coax them over the hump. Lastly, the highly vocal naysayers often get too much attention. Acknowledge them, but spend your time and resources elsewhere.
5. Engage your whole company.
Your people are your brand. That means everyone – from the executive floor to the factory floor. To get the buy-in from the entire company, you have to make the strategy and implementation of your new brand relevant to each person. For the sales team, a new brand is an opportunity to be different from the competition. To the C-Suite, your brand can have an impact on market price. To an engineer in product development, your brand is the inspiration for a new idea. But as the driver of the brand engagement, it’s up to you to connect your people with their brand.