In a previous article I provided information about your role as a leader and how to build employee engagement in support of brand-building. That article emphasized the importance of helping your employees build their personal brand and the company brand.
In this post, I share with you nine ways leaders can connect their team to the corporate brand. This is the key to employee engagement, team building, and achieving corporate branding objectives. These nine recommendations apply to existing team members as well as the process of bringing new people on board:
1. Within your team, build a “Brand Team” of dedicated members who are eager to perform special tasks related to brand communications (such as staying on top of brand strategy, contributing input to your company’s corporate communications campaigns and following your company’s social media discussions and client feedback) and want to be the sponsors of the brand for the team.
2. Use branded materials and communications to attract new employees who connect emotionally with the brand. When you are reaching out for new hires, look for people who share your attitude and connection to the brand. Assessing this is just as vital as evaluating their skills. I recently learned from one of my global healthcare clients that 27% of their new hires last year had been following their company LinkedIn page before they were recruited.
3. Develop a branded orientation plan for new members of your team. The orientation should go well beyond the policy-based session they’ll get from HR. Ensure that new employees understand what it means to deliver on the brand promise in support of your team’s objectives. Share with them stories of how members of the team have bolstered the brand through what they do and how they do it. New hires should meet with members of your Brand Team.
4. Build a solid relationship with marketing and engage in regular conversations with them to stay connected to the brand strategy. Know your company’s mission, vision, values, brand promise, brand attributes and key initiatives related to the brand. I wonder how many Google employees know the whole story behind their colorful logo? Do you know the story behind your company’s logo?
5. Stay on top of how your company is expressing the brand externally. Check out your company’s Facebook and LinkedIn pages. Keep up with the current ad campaign. Establish Google alerts for news about your company.
6. Ensure all internal communications with your team are on-brand in both content and format. Use communications vehicles that best promote the corporate brand.
7. Refine your team’s systems and processes to make sure they reinforce the brand. If your brand is about innovation, make sure your systems and processes are infused with innovation. Ditching those antiquated systems you inherited when you took the job is one way of putting the brand message into action.
8. Allocate a few minutes in each team meeting to talk about the brand with your team. Get regular updates from marketing so you have valuable content to share. Play your corporate TV ads at the start of meetings or share other relevant brand information.
9. Make a commitment to use the company’s brand identity system (color, fonts, imagery, etc.) consistently in all communications with your team, and with internal and external contacts.
Your company’s brand may be managed by the marketing department, but it takes every employee to make it come alive. By building brand ambassadors, you are giving your people important tools for success. At the same time, you’re increasing trust, engagement and loyalty while achieving your company’s brand-building objectives.
Follow me on Twitter @williamarruda and check out my latest book, Ditch. Dare. Do! 3D Branding for Executives.