Building Brands from the Inside, Out

What is a brand?

Your company’s brand is the window of opportunity to link the internal and external sides of your business to impact the bottom line. In practice, it is the sum of the distinctive experiences your company delivers to your customers, prospects, media, investors, employees and other key audiences.

Many large organizations like Deloitte and GE recognize the roles HR and branding together play in the wider business, but many smaller companies have yet to take advantage of the links between HR and branding.

We are on a mission to show the need for HR and branding to work together – or as Meghan M. Biro says, ‘It’s Time To Get Real: ‘Humanize Your Brand.’

Here are five ways HR professionals can shape organizational development through exceptional partnerships between HR and branding:

  1. Become best friends with your branding colleagues! Make it your mission to learn the messages that are being delivered to your customers and educate employees on what those messages mean for them and how they interact with each other. But, don’t stop there! Enlist the help of your branding and marketing team colleagues to shape employee messages to meet the needs of employees and customers alike in an engaging and motivational way, while aligned to HR best practices.
  1. Reinforce brand behaviors to drive double satisfaction. Don’t stop at education. Reinforce those messages through recognition and reward practices that filter through your organization every day and for the life of your brand. We realize recognizing and rewarding employees for exhibiting organizational behaviors is nothing new, but often those behaviors are not aligned to your company’s brand. How many HR teams work with external marketing teams to co-create those messages? Do the two compliment each other? Or are they conflicting? Consider employee and customer satisfaction to pack the biggest punch! 
  1. Make in-house technologies dual purpose. In today’s technological world, employees and customers alike demand, speed, efficiency, ease of use, engaging interfaces and technology they can access from anywhere, but many HR programs focus on employee needs only. Building internal technological solutions that meet customer needs while also motivating and engaging employees is key to building HR’s strategic advantage. Being able to translate customer needs into employee needs and vice versa requires a deep understanding of both audiences and is a prime opportunity for branding and HR to collaborate once again! 
  1. Align analytics to ROI. ‘Big Data’ is a hot topic, but there’s no use having lots of data if it doesn’t provide actionable insights for your organization. Collect data that meets the needs of your organization not just for data collection’s sake. Deep statistical analysis and long-term tracking of trends can support wider business decisions, but only when they are aligned to your customer and employee data. The two need to come together to promote effective business decision-making and ensure return on investment of your brand aligned HR programs. 
  1. Develop recruitment practices that embody your organization’s brand. Let’s not stop at driving branded behaviors in current employees! Branding and HR teams can be a phenomenal force when bringing bright, fresh talent into the family. Branding professionals understand what the customer wants and how to communicate those needs; HR understands the skills and knowledge recruits require to deliver on those promises. Together, these forces can recruit prime talent!

The changes needed to align brand behaviors to internal employees are not massive shifts to how these teams currently operate; both parties can still play to their strengths. However, these new ways of working require both teams to integrate their practices and learn from one another. Are you ready for the challenge?

Tune in to the #WorkTrends podcast on February 22nd and listen in to our TalentCulture webinar on March 28th for deeper insights on building effective brand cultures.
Photo Credit: DiariVeu – laveupv.com Flickr via Compfight cc