Internal Branding – Are Your Employees Participants or Spectators?
For most marketing professionals, I probably do not need to champion the importance of “internal branding.” We all know that the people of an organization are the ambassadors of its brand. The more they understand and identify with the organization’s ethos, the smarter they work for it, the happier they are in it, and the longer they stay with it.
Few things are better for a brand than smart, happy long-term employees living it out-loud everyday to prospects and customers. The impressions these people create are far more powerful than any you can buy with Google AdWords.
So, the question isn’t “Why internal branding?” It’s “How to do it well?”
And, while that question has many answers — including valid topics like communication and documentation — I’d like to focus on a path that’s more about participation.
At the beginning of this year, our whole company engaged in a group art project — the creation of a 20’ x 5’ mural made of 64 individual 16” x 16” panels — to display The Mx Group mission for all to see in the entrance way to our newly remodeled work space.
Now, before you dismiss this idea as “only for the creative types,” I will point out that people in all kinds of roles joined in. Software Programmers. Business Analysts. Recruiters. Traffic Professionals. Sales Managers. Account Executives. And, of course, our Designers, Writers and Art Directors. With only 1 rule — to make a predetermined shape “A” on their panel darker than shape “B” — people were given complete freedom to execute it in whatever way they liked.
Participation was enthusiastic. Even though it was 100% voluntary, employees worked in groups and individually over a couple of weeks in whatever personal time they desired.
On installation day, we put the puzzle together. Individual paintings, collages, knittings, Lego sculptures and more came together to form a rich tapestry. And the predetermined shapes came together to spell the core of our mission: “excite. engage. effect. embed.”
The completed mural is a visible statement of individual efforts combining into a larger, unified vision. It is like us as a company: individual talents coming together to help our clients excite markets, engage customers, effect sales and embed value.
And the process of completing the mural has helped solidify all of these concepts into our workday as we strive to live The Mx Group brand out-loud to our clients and prospects.
To see the mural take shape, watch our time-lapse video of the project here: