transparent brands

internal brand

As we have discussed in previous blogs, rebranding involves more than just designing a new logo.

One significant part of the process is aligning the brand with the desired internal culture and finding a position that inspires colleagues as well as customers.

You can see in our framework for brand building below that organisational values and mission form part of the foundation of any brand development, while the brand archetype needs to be true to part of the current working culture.

Pretty Pragmatic brand model

Recent research, however, indicates that more than 40% of people in the UK believe that their employer doesn’t do enough to engage them in the workplace. Indicating that these organisation’s brands have been designed like one-way glass – built to be outward facing whilst leaving little opportunity to connect with those within the business (internal comms can only do so much if there’s little in the way of an internal brand).

With the emergence of staff review platforms such as Glassdoor, this isn’t something that organisations can continue to hide.

Low staff satisfaction and engagement is now visible for all to see. Customers, suppliers, competitors, as well as current and potential staff can all now easily see behind the kimono. The internal brand is as exposed as the external brand and often the lack of alignment between the two is often the catalyst for current and former staff to vent on these sites.

This misalignment is becoming more of an issue as the practice of ‘purpose-washing’ grows common for brands trying to gain traction with customers.

We’ve discussed the need for purpose before, but if the purpose isn’t authentic and baked into the company culture then staff quickly see through it and disengage. No-one wants to find that their company is built on a brand of smoke and mirrors.

And so it’s imperative to involve staff beyond the sales & marketing departments when evolving and forming a brand. To dig into the culture to discover how elements of the existing working lifestyle can be built into the brand, as well as where the culture could be prompted to evolve through priming and rewarding certain behaviours and values.

This is where brand propositions such as Tesco’s ‘Every Little Helps’ demonstrate their power.

Tesco every little helps

Externally a value message – something that historically sat well with the brand (before the discounters gained traction), whilst internally it offers an effort message – that the marginal gains each team member demonstrates by going the extra yard for customers would play a recognised role in the overarching Tesco experience.

It may have fallen from grace over recent years, but the proposition that worked both internally and externally managed to build a brand to a position where it still holds over a 25% share of the UK grocery market despite recent challenges.