Internal Branding for Recruitment & Retention

Build Buy-in & Attract Talent By Defining Who You Are As a Company

When you think of branding and marketing, you’re probably imagining your communications with customers. While that’s true, it’s only part of the story. You can also leverage your brand within your own walls to spark enthusiasm and secure buy-in from your team–and potential team members, too. A strong, thoughtful internal branding strategy is an indispensable tool for employee recruitment and retention.

What Is Internal Branding?

In many ways, your internal branding will be just like your external brand (the one you serve up to clients, customers, and industry partners). In fact, it’s best not to think of internal and external branding as different entities, but rather as two sides of the same coin. Regardless the audience, you’re telling the same story about who your company is and what you stand for. You’re just telling the story in a different way.

Visual elements like your logo, typefaces, and color schemes might remain as-is, but internal campaigns are a great opportunity to “play” with your brand and push it to the next level. Consider making colors more intense or adding new accents to amp up your brand elements. If your business is normally polished and professional in the marketplace, you can be more fun within the walls of your own office.

Beyond visual brand elements, a fantastic opportunity to create a tailored internal brand is found in the messaging about your mission, vision, and values. Anything that might go in an “About Us” page on your website could benefit from an employee-focused second look.

Need ideas? Try these opportunities for executing your internal brand:

  • Posters in break rooms and other common spaces
  • Office decor (paint colors, furniture, and the like)
  • Your employee handbook
  • Swag and branded apparel for team members
  • Company events
  • Welcome packages for new recruits

The options are endless. Just keep in mind that any branded materials that might find their way outside of your organization should keep external audiences at the forefront.

Examples Of Internal Branding

It’s useful to see a few examples of internal branding in the real world and how it might differ from external branding. These can help guide your own internal branding campaign. Let’s look at some of the campaign work that we’ve done with clients.

Drexel Building Supply: Drexel Grand Expo
Drexel’s biennial Grand Expo is a large-scale event that brings together vendors, customers, and Drexel team members for professional development and plenty of fun. We help Drexel push their well-established brand beyond its usual limits with event materials, programming, and a “State of Happiness” video to update everyone about the company. Drexel’s “Team Blue” employees are some of the biggest brand evangelists out there!

Community Smiles Dental: Core Values
We created internal and external versions of the clinic’s mission and core values. Here’s what how they talk about their “Quality” value inside and outside of the organization.

  • Internal version: A simple promise that takes everyone’s commitment – Bring your best possible effort, workplace dedication, and attitude
  • External version: A simple promise that takes organizational commitment – Offer the best possible clinical care, healthcare technology, and resources

AIR Technology: Value Posters & New Employee Orientation Book
After working with the AIR Technology team to rethink their core company messaging, we designed print materials that drove the point home to employees.

As you can see from these examples, internal messaging puts the emphasis on who you are as a company and how your team fits into that identity. Ideally, the branding aligns in a way that makes it obvious how internal commitment translates to external execution.

How Internal Branding Helps Recruitment & Retention

The primary audience for internal branding is your own team and potential recruits. As stakeholders in your business, their interests are different from those of a client or customer, who are most concerned with deliverables and costs.

Your team cares about things like company culture, collaboration, cohesion, performance expectations, work/life balance, and leadership’s dedication to staff. When you clearly paint a picture about these items, you create organizational buy-in that keeps the team focused on your goals and unites them as a singular functional unit. They know what they stand for individually and as a group. Then, they can translate this identity into their work performance. When everyone is working from the same script and expectations are clear, you ignite your team’s passion and decrease the desire to leave your company for “greener pastures.” Internal branding transforms employees into ambassadors and advocates.

Similarly, when you’re recruiting new hires, let them in on your internal branding. Given the opportunity, candidates will self-select to pursue opportunities that align with their own identity, values, and goals. You’ll naturally attract people who would fit into and enhance your current culture.

With a smart internal branding campaign to complement your external-facing brand, you can help your employees connect with your company and find new hires that will be the perfect fit. If you’d like assistance crafting your internal brand, get in touch with the Ampersand team–we’d be happy to step in!

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