Every day is a potential internal branding opportunity.
Leaders must constantly reinforce their message to all who represent their brand. That means being as informal as possible rather than waiting for a big all-employee meeting. Instead, let people know how important they are on a regular basis. Every interaction with your team is an opportunity to emphasize that their work is meaningful.
Here’s a story that illustrates why we must keep celebrating our differentiation…
The president of a major auto manufacturer was stressed over a make-or-break new car launch. The stakes were high, and things were already going poorly.
He said, “We need help—we have a lousy, ugly car that no one is buying. We’re replacing it with a new model. Morale is low internally. This launch must succeed.” After conducting some initial research, my team asked him a question he was not prepared for:
“Can you guess which car was the number-one seller in your segment over the last decade?” He replied, “I don’t have the foggiest.” We informed him that his brand’s “lousy, ugly car that no one was buying” was the top seller. And we added that it was still experiencing robust sales.
Stunned, he said, “This certainly explains why morale is low. We’ve denigrated this car, yet it’s been an enormous success.” He was right. The company’s enterprise had been fed a diet of negativity about the product when it should have been a point of pride. They began an inspiring journey to turn that around, celebrating the current, successful model as well as promoting its new replacement. It rejuvenated the company and ensured the new model succeeded.
Part of that journey included an inspiring celebration. But the key to sustaining that positive, productive energy was reinforcing the message every single time there was an opportunity. Whether it was a large meeting with hundreds of employees or a one-on-one discussion, the leadership team pledged to ensure employees understood the important role they played in the new model’s success.
If you’re a small company, you are fortunate that a few interactions daily can really make a difference. Large corporations must think “small” and use every opportunity to differentiate their mission and explain the “why” behind decisions that are being made. Too often, the temptation is to wait for the company-wide town hall, the annual meeting, or, even worse, an all-employee email to share your passion.
Your next interaction is the perfect time to celebrate what makes your brand, products or service unique.
Please Answer One Short Question
Do you use everyday opportunities to reinforce your brand with employees?
Barry LaBov is founder and CEO of LABOV Marketing Communications and Training. He is a two-time Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year recipient and author of numerous business books, including the upcoming book The Power of Differentiation. Since 1981, LABOV has differentiated and launched products and brands around the world.