Topic: Internal Branding
Author(s), Title and Publication
Maclaverty, N., McQuillan, P., & Oddie. H. (2007). Internal Branding Best Practices Study. Toronto: Canadian Marketing Association.
This study defines internal branding as a set of strategic processes that align and empower employees to deliver appropriate customer experience. To better understand internal branding, challenges to it, and current internal branding practices, the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) surveyed 475 marketers across industries in 2005. In 2006, the CMA interviewed 11 senior marketers who are responsible for internal branding within their organizations.
Results showed that internal branding is a relatively new approach for leading Canadian companies, and many of those companies lacked clearly defined responsibilities for internal branding. The development of internal branding strategies tended to be shared by the marketing group and executive team; 77% of those surveyed said internal branding was a marketing responsibility, and 72% said the executive team holds some responsibility. Nearly 28% of respondents reported that the public relations department was in charge of internal branding. The five top challenges to effective internal branding practices were: ineffective communication, inconsistencies, getting employee buy-in, obtaining senior executive commitment, and availability of time. Based on the interviews, the researchers identified six categories of internal branding techniques: internal communication, training support, leadership practices, reward and recognition, recruitment practices, and sustainability factors. Regarding internal branding effectiveness, only 28% of respondents involved in internal branding actually measured the effectiveness of their work. Most said that measuring a brand’s impact on consumers was the easiest measurement approach, e.g., customer feedback/complaints and customer satisfaction and loyalty surveys. This study might have been enriched with more depth interviews with senior marketers or communicators.
Implications for Practice
One best practice for internal branding is that responsibility for strategic development and implementation should be vested clearly with one senior level individual or group who has wide reach and access across functions. In addition, practitioners should help align employees’ values with company values through effective communication, training programs, and appropriate leadership behaviors.
Location of Article
The article is available online at: http://www.odditie.com/pdf/InternalBranding.pdf