Sunday, 20 March 2016

Wrapping your messages - Internal brand

The brand is not the message, but it matters.

I've been working on an internal branding project and initial presentations have focussed on clarifying why we need it, given that it's a new concept in the organisation. I've found the following useful in explaining it:

Imagine that you've a really nice gift to give... would you choose to wrap it badly in second-hand, flimsy, grimy paper? Highly unlikely.

Now imagine how you'd feel receiving that badly wrapped gift in that shoddy paper, compounded by the fact it's unsuitable for you (or the occasion) eg happy 1st Christmas, green paper... when it's your 21st birthday, it's June and you hate green. Not good right?

I personally think it would be better to give a considered (not necessarily perfect, expensive) gift in especially nice paper as opposed to a nice gift poorly packaged in poor quality paper - at least you'd feel like you were worthy of some effort and you'd have the experience of an 'ooh' moment* when you initially see your wrapped parcel.

Now imagine getting a rubbish gift (by your definition), wrapped stunningly, wonderfully, beautifully in lovely appropriate paper. That's right, it obvious the wrapping doesn't make the gift any better.
And let's not imagine receiving a rubbish present badly wrapped in rubbish wrapping paper!

Would you be excited by a gift that looked like this?
My point (though I'm sure you've already got it!) is...

Internal brand is like good quality wrapping paper... It isn't the gift itself (eg the message) and it isn't pretending to be, but it should make you excited rather than nervous about what you're about to get/hear and reflect the quality of what you're getting into.

So, make sure your internal brand is...
  • Authentic - this is key as it has to reflect what the organisation is (or at least what it can demonstrate it is aspiring to be)
  • Polished - is it good enough in its own right?
  • Appropriate - reflecting the organisation, and for the audience (staff)
  • Consistent - in its application, as well as its quality?
  • Fluid - can it wrap a range of messages, and evolve?

Let's not forget, a great internal brand isn't going to mask poor(ly managed) messages... but let's remember, a great brand will enhance the experience and perception of who you are and what you have to say. And, your staff deserve that just as much as your customers.

Looks good huh! Wouldn't you be curious about what could be inside?
Does your organisation have an internal brand, and how do you ensure it's the full package?