Building an Internal Brand

While recently on a trip down in the US, I was asked to participate in a taste test for Coke vs. Pepsi. Really… taste tests are still around. And this got me thinking about branding and how HR can make a difference to a corporate brand.

What is an internal brand? The Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) defines internal branding as “the set of strategic processes that align and empower employees to deliver the appropriate customer experience in a consistent fashion“.  Just as brands make promises to customers, companies make promises to their employees.

Here are some tips I uncovered for creating your internal brand.

Know your brand. Become familiar with your company’s brand strategy. Talk to marketing and branding and find out how your brand emotionally connects with consumers. 

Discover what your employees believe to be your brand; what it promises to customers and what it promises to employees. Where does your internal brand promises live up to, or fall short in the eyes of your employees?

Create a plan. We all love plans. Make internal branding the cornerstone of your HR strategy. This is an opportunity for Human Resources to help ensure that throughout the organization, all of the actions that people take every day are in line with the corporate brand strategy. 

Communicate, communicate, communicate. In order to market your employer brand, communication of the brand values to employees is paramount. Your employees need to see the parallels between your customer and employee experiences. Train managers and supervisors to walk the walk – this is up to you to find a way to execute.

And finally, measure the ROI. All those horrid years of math will come in handy now.

Have you had an increase in employee satisfaction?

Have your sales increased?

How about employee turnover – is it up or down?

Using measurable results, you can see the impact of where your branding efforts are working and where they need to be improved. 

Ultimately, your employer brand is your promise to employees. If your employees don’t believe in your brand, who will?

When a company can consistently live up to its brand promises both internally and externally, it is a fabulous place to work!


Dana Sebal has over 10 years Marketing and Human Resources experience.  Outside of her professional career, Dana’s passions include her family, rowing, running, tennis, skiing, yoga, and Beagles.
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4 Responses

  1. I like how you’ve put “discover what your employees believe to be your brand”. Every organization has a brand whether or not they’ve invested in articulating it and devising a strategy. So, you don’t “create a brand”, but discover it.

    Good advice on engaging with marketing folks – it is another area that HR could beef up their business acumen.

    One question: what is the relationship between internal brand and employer brand?

    • Thanks Helen.

      The employer brand is the face of the company to both the consumer and the employees – an effort to communicate why the company is a great place to work.

      The internal brand is the communications focusing on the brand promise to its employees and the attitudes and behaviours expected from employees to deliver on the promise. These usually build on pride in the workplace, rewards/recognition programs and consistency in delivery on the brand promise to employees.

      Therefore, the employer brand is the recruitment face of the company and the internal brand is the marketing of the employer brand within the company.

      I hope this has answered your question.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dave Macdonald and HR Advice: BCjobs.ca, RyanStGermaine. RyanStGermaine said: Building an Internal Brand – http://ow.ly/1WOH0 […]

  3. […] committed to your brand? Posted on August 5, 2010 by kookiecookies In a previous blog post Building an Internal Brand I talked about employer branding and how to create an internal brand.  One of the most important […]

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