One of the most important places to spend time and energy “selling” your brand is internally. There is no audience that is more important to have completely understand and believe your brand position. The reason should be obvious, of your staff doesn’t believe in your brand position, they cannot support it. Therefore, it is critical that you spend enough time visiting, and revisiting, the brand position with your staff members.
In order to do this, you might consider implementing “Brand Camps” every 3-4 months. Brand Camps are a great tool for making sure that everyone is aligned with the brand position. Best practices for a brand camp put them somewhere between 2 and 6 hours in length, and can be either a partial group of employees or all the employees as your business needs dictate. There are several components of a brand camp:
- Manifesto. Share the manifesto – go around the room and ask everyone to share what it means to them. (You can do this a number of ways, either assign it in small groups before hand for skits to be presented, ask each person to speak to it, or provide an example of the manifesto in action – whatever works in your culture.
- Keep doing. This is a great opportunity to find out what you’re already doing that is working well. Asking what you should keep doing will set the tone for the remainder of the session and will allow you to celebrate what should be celebrated – the places and spaces you are being consistent with living your brand, and it sets a great tone for what comes next.
- Start doing. Collaborate with the employee team on what else your company can be doing to enhance your brand position. (Ask them to go away in small groups and come back to the whole group to present their best three ideas on what more can be done to make the brand real. Then ask the whole group to pick the top three that will be implemented in the next 30 days.)
- Stop doing. Ask them what the company is doing that is not supporting the brand. (Depending on the safety of your culture, you may need to ask them to write the ideas down, put them into a box. Then, ask each employee to come up and randomly pick one of the ideas out of the box to read aloud. Be sure to reinforce that all ideas are valid and important – DO NOT get defensive. Use all the employees in the room to find a way to do it in better harmony with the brand position.)
- Commitment. Before you adjourn brand camp, ask your staff to each personally make a commitment to live the brand every day. (You can do this in any way that works for your company. Ideas include going around the room and asking each person to elaborate on what they will do differently because of brand camp, have everyone stand and recite the manifesto in unison, or create brand accountability buddies where each set of two agrees to hold each other accountable for living the brand until the next brand camp.)
The important thing about taking time out to hold a brand camp is to get everyone realigned to the brand position, and to give your brand the lift that comes when every employee is pulling toward the same outcome.