Internal Branding and Employee Engagement Series
A Bit of History
Inward practically invented the concept of internal branding 11 years ago, this month, when we formed our firm to help educate, motivate inspire and enroll employees to support major change initiatives like reengineering, new brand launches and strategic M&A’s.
We were encouraged create the firm by the late Michael Hammer. Dr. Hammer who founded the reengineering movement in the late 80s/early 90s realized that unless you get your key stakeholders engaged and enrolled behind change, the likelihood of a corporate transformation was less likely to occur. So while I was the SVP, Worldwide Director of Marketing and Communications at Arthur D. little, I formulated an "Inward Marketing" methodology that would encourage employee buy-in and engagement through a sequence of persuasive communication techniques. I tested these ideas with a major pharmaceutical company that had made a recent merger and global acquisition that needed to enroll the employees of the combined company with a common vision mission and values. That experimental engagement turned out to work immensely well. Our credo at that time was, “Corporations have to educate, motivate, inspire and engage their people for the company to achieve its strategic results”. We still believe in this credo today.
We are proud to say that we most likely are the first to recognize that employee engagement and internal branding can improve performance and enact cultural change. Because of our history and thought leadership, we have been able to invent and codify an internal branding model and framework that works. We engage employees to become involved in our process. In addition, we established the industry definition for internal branding which has become the category standard.
Inward’s Definition of Internal Branding
Internal Branding is an organized, outcome-driven approach to get to a desired state
while continually answering the question …
“What’s in it for me?”
Companies must work HARD to make the working environment relevant and important to every employee through SIMPLIFIED relevant communications, so that they change their behavior and know what to do to reinforce positive customer experiences every day, which makes it EASY to live up to the corporate brand values and external brand promises.
• The company’s employees are its brand. Employees must be educated, motivated and inspired about the customer experience — and realize the power personally. It doesn’t happen naturally.
• People deliver the brand promise — when they don’t, there is brand breakdown.
• It is about the customer experience and how associates/employees perform their jobs, as well as personal behavior in support of positive customer experiences.
Simplifying the Complexity - Establishing three theoretical steps
We approach internal branding by simplifying the complexity of the theory into; 1) an easy to follow model called Inward’s Internal Communications Model, 2) followed by a framework called Inward’s Internal Dialogue Marketing™ Framework, and 3) operationizing the framework into an action/delivery process called Inward’s Brand Alignment Process.
Watch for our Internal Branding/Employee Engagement Series
Over the next few weeks, in celebration of our anniversary, I will be sending you additional emails devoting specific thoughts, ideas and examples of our theory to illustrate the how it all works together. Keep an eye out for it.
Lastly, I have to say thank you for all your support, encouragement and business all these years. We would not be a success if it weren’t for our devoted clients and friends.