Connect your employees with your brand mission | Sunday Observer

Connect your employees with your brand mission

18 April, 2021

Companies make large investments in building brands through an integrated communication strategy – quite rightly so, as profitability revolves around the power of brands you sell.

No matter how impressive your TV commercial and scheduling on most popular channels is and which external brand personality you use at a huge cost, how much money you spend on promotions, sponsorships and other types of ‘below the line’ activities. Unless you support all these efforts with ‘internal people brand’ you may not reap the best returns, especially in service industries such as banking and finance, hospitality, airline, and creative agencies. If a company doesn’t consider employees as brand ambassadors, advertising efforts can come completely undone. Your employees are the biggest brand strength any business organisation has got. 

Surprisingly, many companies end up building a hollow brand. They hire high profile, very expensive creative agencies to ‘create’ their brand. To build something from scratch to tell the world who they are and what they stand for.

This can work in the short term - it can look like the company has a strong brand. But if it’s not backed up by the company’s actions in everything it does, the brand will never really survive in the long run.

Brand culture - the DNA 

When most people think of a brand, they think of the logo and design, and maybe the marketing and advertising. They think of all the external communications and touch points someone might have with a brand. The brand is the way a company or product presents itself to the world. But a truly strong brand is far more than that. For a brand to ring true, and have real authenticity to it, it must start from the inside of the company.

It must be inextricably linked to the soul - the very DNA - of the company. The company must live and breathe its brand from the inside out. Otherwise, the brand is only an empty promise. It becomes a hollow shell - a veneer that it presents to the world, but can’t back up. It becomes a facade, with nothing to support it.

It’s not simply only what your employees do, but also what they say - outside office walls and how they conduct themselves, how they package and present themselves, how knowledgeable and able they are. Whether their personality supports the product brand that either props or affects your brand value. Employees rank higher in public trust than a firm’s PR department and employees are the most credible source of information regarding their business. As the daily communicators of your brand, employees need to be engaged and committed to creating the brand from the inside out.

This means they need to be inspired, prepared and given the right tools to deliver on your external brand promise.

‘Brand is Culture, Culture is Brand’ - the relationship between marketing and HR as the new “power couple” behind a valuable brand. Almost a decade later, activating this power couple by aligning HR and marketing strategies, is more important than ever. Pure talent and capability alone, isn’t enough to make the cut. Hiring in line with your brand culture builds a workforce that is already on board with your mission and brand values, minimising compliance issues or culture clashes.

By making sure future employees really understand - and importantly love, your brand before they start, you’re essentially creating a team of employees as brand ambassadors from the very beginning.

Having employees as brand ambassadors holds more weight than buy-in from the latest industry influencer, it’s crucial to educate all employees on brand purpose, ensuring they feel genuinely connected to that mission. 

The brand has to be co-created with the employees, not shoved down people’s throats. If they are not involved in some capacity or if they don’t see their fingerprints all over it, they will say, ‘This is not my company.’ 

Writing employees into your brand story is a smart way of cultivating a deep understanding of your brand and an internal sense of brand loyalty. 


We get a feel based on how the brand, company, and its people, speak and behave that together gives us a general positive or negative feeling towards it.

So how can a brand feel authentic? What must it do to earn this positive gut feeling in consumers’ minds? Everything the company does must align behind the brand idea. This goes beyond the traditional marketing roles, and includes corporate communications, distribution, customer service, and more. Everything must tell the same cohesive story around the brand. Consumers relate to brands on these deep, gut-feeling levels, whether they realise it or not. The human brain is programmed to sense whether or not a brand is something they can trust, and every tiny interaction with a brand will add to the feeling they have towards it. For brands to truly have this level of authenticity, it has to start from within - from the people in charge of building the company and brand. Remember, a brand is a reflection of the company, and the company is nothing more than the people behind it.