Emphasize Employee Awareness of Your Brand
Brand Development encompasses a complex and multi-tiered approach to showing the world who you are. It defines what your business stands for and explains how your products get delivered to and are experienced by customers. It also involves the “why” behind your customers’ purchasing decisions. More importantly, brand development backed by brand strategy helps you differentiate yourself from your competitors, which creates recognizable brand loyalty in customers’ lives. In industrial branding, it is important to keep your customers in mind. But, it is also crucial to get your employees involved.
It makes sense: if part of your brand identity involves how your customers receive your product or services, the employees who deliver that—whether in real time or behind an assembly line—inherently impact the entire process. As seen on our Brand Report Card, one critical criterion of industrial brand development is that all employees in your company are aware of your brand distinction, and more essentially, buy into it and live it (at least while clocked in!). In a global study by Employer Brand International, results indicated that 84% of companies believe a clearly defined strategy is key to achieving employer branding objectives. In other words, it’s time to start educating all employees on your brand strategy! Beyond that, it’s incumbent upon you to ensure they are as much a part of the company’s brand promise as possible. Remember—you are trusting them to make good on that promise and deliver it to the customers.
A Meaningful Mission Statement
A mission statement is a must have for your brand strategy. This statement should relay the purpose of your company in a straightforward manner. According to HubSpot, in order to create brand distinction, it is important that your mission statement is not only motivational to the customer, but also motivates your employees. Think of it as the “what we do and why” to the vision statement’s aspirational “where these actions will take us … all” declaration. Employees who are aware of your brand distinction and company purpose are able to clearly convey what differentiates you from your competitors. And, with this clear understanding of your brand distinction, they are more prepared to interact with customers in an appropriate and effective manner, which in turn, positively affects how customers view, and most importantly experience, your brand.
Entrepreneur Media, Inc. reminds us, “To the customer making the purchase, your employee is the company.” We’ve elaborated on their great tips below for engaging your employees to incorporate your branding strategies:
Hire based on brand strategy: Make sure from the outset that they are proper ambassadors of your brand. If your branding is based on delivering highly technical products and service, then obviously, you want efficient techs. Focused more on delivering helpful, responsive customer service? You’d better have some friendly and flexible people onboard.
Set expectations: Your orientation program is only as good as its message and your ability to set expectations, ensure employees understand them, and create rewards for those who deliver.
Communicate, then communicate some more: It’s human nature to want to belong. Communication is your first, last, and best way to keep employees in the loop and engaged with the work culture you establish. Once employees feel disenfranchised, it’s easy for them to stray from the company vision and lose sight of your brand promise.
Perception is Key
Employee perception of your brand is essential to your industrial brand strategy, as well. A Marketing MO article puts it best: how your employees view your brand is just as important as how your customers and vendors view it. They recommend polling employees, customers, and vendors on their impressions of the brand, emphasizing the importance of these impressions aligning with your brand strategy. It is imperative to your brand distinction that your employees perceive your brand the same way you do so they can clearly understand the differentiation that sets your brand apart from others—and be prepared to deliver that.
Empower Employees through Your Brand Strategy
You trust the people you’ve hired, or they wouldn’t be there in the first place. Arming them with this piece of your brand strategy sets you all up for success. You need to support them in the same way you would support your customers through any other process. Making them aware of your brand distinction and giving them the tools to execute it for your customers allows your brand to flourish and outshine the competition.
At our Boston-based B2B brand consulting firm, Grant Marketing, we understand the importance of a solid brand strategy. When we provide branding and rebranding services through our 2020 Brand Focus™ process, we interview employees, customers, and vendors alike to measure alignment of the expectations and reality—and possible deficits between the two. This give us a more authentic platform from which to work with.
With this info, we reassess and redirect your brand strategy, creating messaging that mirrors this discovery session. This allows us to then lay down a more effective foundation for you to deliver your brand promise from within. Conflicting messages and experiences confuse and alienate your prospects and customers. People want authenticity. When your brand promise does not jive with the actual experience, your customers will also respond—negatively. Help you help yourself, and your customers, with a unified brand promise and consistent delivery of said promise. The experience will be a positive one for everyone.
If you are curious about whether your brand promise is on target, you might start with taking a look at our Brand Report Card.