While marketing is typically a big part of any company’s budget, many miss the mark when it comes to Internal Branding. From a foundational standpoint, the best place to start with company branding efforts is with your employees. Who better to embody a company’s brand than the people who work there day in and day out? Telling employees things like why your logo was chosen, why these are your company colors, and what you want your brand to say about you will help employees become natural representatives of your brand. Internal Branding needs to be incorporated from day one with employee orientations and training, and especially in creating the right environment for employees to thrive in.
Creating a work environment that integrates some of the same marketing you use with your customers can really cultivate the Internal Branding buy-in from your employees. At Synapse, we like to show off our brand and really embrace it in our work environment. For example, we have painted several of our office walls with our company colors: orange and purple. We’ve also hung a portrait of every “Synapsian” (each masquerading in a fun, alter-ego pose) on a featured wall in the main hallway. This wall mirrors our Team Page on our company website. Additionally, we’ve proudly displayed decals that state the ten qualifications it takes to be a “Synapsian” at the top edge of our office walls. These things serve as an everyday reminder to our team of who we are.
“Environments are not just containers, but are processes that change the content totally.” –Marshall McLuhan
Our unified team is essential to our success, and we want to be sure that every person who walks in our office gets a sense of that even before they talk to someone. We want our office décor and environment to say, “We are fun and creative.” Yet, at the same time, it is important to us that the cohesiveness of our Internal Branding signifies to our customers that we are seamless in our approach with everything we do. The paint, photos and decals weren’t expensive, but the return it brought us in team morale and positive customer feedback has been immeasurable.
Aside from our office décor, another important part of internal branding is having consistent processes in place. Just like the marketing department needs to be diligent about the consistency of the company’s marketing message, all other areas of the company need to have checks and balances in place for quality assurance as well. Synapse has a process for every function in the company, and every employee is aware of them. For instance, each new Synapsian gets a brief overview of every position in the company during the orientation process. When every person on your team has at least a basic understanding of their coworkers’ job functions, everyone knows how his or her role and performance affects the rest of the team. From procurement to fulfillment through web design, having specific processes in place helps ensure that we always have the same outstanding end result. Furthermore, we host team building events outside of the office every quarter to encourage team bonding. We’ve done fun things like laser tag, mini-golf, group lunches and dinners – and will be visiting Hershey Park in July for some excitement! Spending time together outside of the office allows us to see each other in a different light. It provides an outlet for us to socialize with team members in departments that we may not get to work directly with as much as others. These team building events have also helped us to welcome the new Synapsians into the fold as we continue to grow.
Although Internal Branding objectives will appear different for every type of business, building your internal brand is an important part of your marketing initiatives nonetheless. Step back and ask yourself the following questions to see if your Internal Branding efforts are measuring up to your desired outcome:
- What do you believe your environment “says” about your company to your employees and visitors? What’s good? What could be improved?
- Is there someone you trust that will give you an honest, unbiased opinion of your environment to see if it lines up with your perception?
- Is your company image evident to anyone that steps in your lobby or office?
- What processes do you have in place for quality assurance in each department?
- Are you offering team building events? If so, is it something you are intentional about doing on a regular basis?
- Do your Internal Branding efforts line up with the end result you want?
With our tagline being “Whatever It Takes”, having a strong team is essential for us to be able to always meet our clients’ needs. We believe our team’s chemistry is the foundation for our continued success at Synapse. All of our Internal Branding efforts have helped nurture a true team environment here, which in turn has impacted our customer service. Our clients see us as a united front, always working together. Over time, this entire effort has clearly defined our company image and culture to the outside world.
Want to talk about how we can bring your brand into your workspace? Start a conversation with us!