Is your focus on internal or external branding?

While the majority of companies start to understand that branding matters, not enough firms have a conversation around internal branding. Yet it is so important for team identification, talent retention and much more. Have a read below to understand the difference between external and internal branding activities you can do to position yourself.

Here is a simple question you can ask to determine whether you are internally or externally focused: what is the more important factor for your brand development? Is it external engagement or internal commitment? There's an old saying that says if your organisation's external brand is strong, you won't have to worry about internal branding. Right? No, not exactly.

Putting it in another way, your brand represents who you really are as a company. Are your customers the only ones affected by that? What about another equally important audience that's totally overlooked? Both your employees and your consumers should be able to understand your brand's message.

Attraction vs. Retention

Your internal and external branding have different missions. Developing a brand for your external audience is how you connect with customers and prospects, while creating one for your internal audience is how you connect with current and future employees.

External branding is built to attract audiences, get them interested in you, and make them feel like you are the perfect fit. Alternatively, your internal brand does not target a broad audience. Due to the fact that it's for your team, the emphasis won't be on attracting clients.

Rather than focusing on acquisition, your internal brand prioritises retention. You already have the audience's attention, so introducing yourself isn't necessary. In contrast, you're here to show off what it's like to work here, provide extra benefits such as swag and gifts, and build a sense of teamwork.

In a nutshell, understanding your external brand identity is understanding:

  • Why your brand exists
  • Who does your brand talking to
  • What does your brand want to communicate
  • How does it want to communicate it

While internal brand identity - also called employer branding - has to do with:

  • How your organisation communicates its values, identity, and purpose to employees and stakeholders.
  • The company's purpose and culture that must be understood and bought into by all employees, and they must be empowered to live it.

Branding Internally vs. Externally: How Do They Fit Together?

There should be a difference between your internal and external brands. The fact is that they have different audiences and agendas, and therefore they cannot be one and the same. For each to accomplish what your business requires, they must diverge at least somewhat.

Nevertheless, they shouldn't be completely separated. There are several reasons why you should maintain a connection between your internal and external brands. In the first place, it makes your team feel like they have a common goal. Internal and external missions may appear to be unrelated when there is brand dissonance, which makes people feel as though they are not cooperating to achieve a common goal. Instead, employees should believe that your stated objectives and the promises you make to your clients and consumers are connected to the work they do every day.

Additionally, Even though your internal brand is "internal," there is a good chance that it will be exposed to some of the general public. If you offer your team t-shirts, they aren’t only going to wear them to work. Or maybe the new nice painting that your company bought will end up on the employees instagram accounts.

To create a successful culture, you need to be communicating internally and externally in a way that is unified and supports your team and company image. When you prioritise both ends of the spectrum, the result is a team advocating for your business on the front lines, resulting in greater audience acceptance overall!

Hopefully we've helped you better understand the importance of having a healthy branding combination. If you're looking to assess the health of your brand, we would be happy to talk with you!

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