How to get others in your company to care about the brand as much as you do
As head of marketing for your company, have you ever found yourself in a situation where you have a lovely brand strategy or brand guide, but you don’t know what to do with it, so it just sits in a drawer gathering dust? Do you sometimes feel like you’re the only one in your organization that cares about your brand, or even knows what it is? Being the marketing lead can be an isolating experience and although your team “gets it”, you’re concerned that no one else does.
These feelings of frustration can be strong if you’re in a company where the departments are in silos, and it feels like no one else sees the bigger picture or wants to. And unfortunately, it matters when you’re the only one that cares about the brand, or if the brand is seen only as some outside-facing glamor that is marketing’s problem, but no one else’s.
Why it matters if you’re the only one who cares about the brand
First the negative stuff. If your fellow employees don't embody your company's values, those values become irrelevant. However, worse than that, if your brand is only articulated outside the organization, and not demonstrated internally, this mismatch will become evident very rapidly to stakeholders outside the organization, such as prospects and customers. And they will not like it.
We are in an era when consumers are sensitive to organizations claiming to be things they’re not. 'Authenticity' currently rules the day. If your customers sense that your “brand values” are different from how you and your employees act, they could vote with their wallets and take their business elsewhere. Your bottom line is at stake.
On the other hand, what is the gain if your 'brand' permeates the whole company and employees live and breathe it? Well, if your team members can feel an emotional connection with the brand, that will enhance their feelings of belonging in the organization. Ultimately, all humans want to belong somewhere. And if they feel like they belong, they will work better and provide a better experience for the customer. Moreover, if employees understand the brand, they will better communicate it externally.
Now we’ve established that it matters that the rest of your company cares about your brand, how can you make them do so?
How to get the rest of your company to care about your brand
1. Revisit the customer journey - in minute detail
The first step to changing behavior is establishing all the touchpoints where prospects and customers interact with your organization. You may have developed a customer journey map, but if not, I highly recommend you do so. It is a powerful tool to help you think through methodically every time a prospect or customer comes into contact with your organization. This includes every advert they see, the letters they receive, the time they spend visiting your front desk, or every time they call your customer service team. Then, think about what their experience with the brand is at every step.
2. Who is responsible for those touchpoints?
Once you have mapped out all these touchpoints, think about who is responsible for them within your company. Are these specific individuals or teams? Make a list of all the departments impacted by these touchpoints.
3. Put yourself in their shoes
Now you know clearly who will be interacting with prospects and customers at each stage, think about how they understand the company brand and express it in their work. How does the sales team understand the brand, which parts are most relevant to them? Is this different from how the HR department or customer service team understands the brand? If you’re not sure about any part of this, why not talk to them? Get to know your audience.
4. Mind the gap
Armed with an understanding of where they are in their understanding of the brand and how they conceptualize it, think about where you’d like them to be. In your dream world, how would they embody/express the brand? And what is the gap between what you’d like and where they are now? What tools can you give them to do better? What training do they need to do better?
5. Make your plan
Bringing this all together, how can you communicate to them effectively the changes you’d like to see, in a way that they will understand and be receptive to? There is no point in browbeating them - you want to empower them to understand the brand better and feel good about it, not like they’ve done something wrong. Working with each team is going to be different and what they need from you is going to change - but isn’t that the joy of marketing, tailoring your message to different audiences?!
What do you think, would this work at your company?