Internal Branding: Your culture is your brand

Posted by Genius tribes on 11:35 AM
Three weeks ago, I spoke to a conference of young managers organized by one of a MNC engineering company in Selangor. Range of topic covered is the need for need for employee branding and why you shouldn't let your culture evolve by itself. Instead you should play a role to design it intendly.

Building a brand today is very much different from building brand 30 or 50 years back. How it was done is by having buch of people sitting in a room, deciding what will be the brand positioning and then spend lot of money on advertising telling people what their brand was over and over again.

We are in a different world today. With the explosion of internet bubble,today we are connected to each and everyone.Companies are becoming more and more transparent whether they like it or not. An unhappy customer or a disgruntled employee can blog about bad experience with a company, and the story can spread like wildfire by email or with tools like Facebook.

Advertising can only get your brand so far. If you ask most people what the “brand” of the airline industry as a whole is (not any specific airline like AirAsia or MAS, but the entire industry itself), they will usually say something about bad customer service or bad customer experience. If you ask people what their perception of the Proton auto industry is today, chances are the responses you get won’t be in line with what the automakers project in their advertising. (Yeah , they still proud of never ending story power window).

So what’s a company to do if you can’t just buy your way into building the brand you want? What’s the best way to build a brand for the long term?

In a word: culture.

Anyone who has been through a branding process knows very well that the hardest part of the whole branding process is not coming up with a tagline, logo or the color of choice,It’s getting to your company’s DNA—what is at its heart—its values, vision, passion and purpose. That’s your culture. When you get to that, you can create your brand. If not, everythings that you say or promise will not fit into the picture.
Before you embark on a branding campaign, take a reality check. Have you uncovered your company’s DNA? Defined its culture? It’s values, vision, passion and purpose? Is it real, honest and yet still a little aspirational? Your brand must be rooted in reality with room to reach toward the future. Clearly defining your company culture is your first step in building a brand.
Building the culture/brand really is everybody’s business, and companies that understand that have a real advantage. That’s why it’s important to engage your employees in your branding process—asking them to help define your values, vision, passion and purpose. Getting their input and buy-in is critical to the success of your brand. You all need to get behind the same values, vision, passion and purpose. It’s critical to a cohesive, productive and engaging workplace.

Here are some of the details that we shared during our conference.




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