How do you anchor your corporate vision in your employees’ minds? And why is this so important? A recent study highlights how relevant trustworthiness is for a strong brand, not only externally but also internally. This is because the majority of people place a great deal of trust in their employer.

In the light of the current global situation, the market research company Edelman Intelligence has published a special edition of the Edelman Trust Barometer: the Edelman Trust Barometer 2020 Special Report „Trust and the Coronavirus“. The surveys were conducted between 6 and 10 March 2020 in ten countries: Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Africa, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the USA. A total of 10,000 people (1,000 per market) were interviewed.

The employer as a trustworthy source of information

This provided a fascinating insight: 63% of respondents said that after one or two communications, they trust information from their employer about the coronavirus. Only 58% said the same about information from a government website, and only 51% about traditional media. Social media are right at the bottom of the list when it comes to trust: more than a third (35%) stated that they would never believe information they only found there. 

The employer as a crisis manager

Another result highlights the trust that people have in their own employer: in eight of the ten countries surveyed, people consider their employer to be better prepared for the virus than the country itself. 62% of respondents said that their employer is responding effectively and responsibly to the virus.

The employer as a strong brand

These results show – even in this tense situation – that employers have the potential to build up enormous trust and to position themselves positively by acting responsibly. And employees who have been won over are, and remain, the best brand ambassadors. If they identify with the company in a positive way, they will also present this image to the outside world and will inspire confidence in potential customers.

The challenges and opportunities of internal branding

What can you do specifically to promote strong internal branding? Christian Rummel, Deputy Global Head of Brand Communications & CSR at Deutsche Bank, and Stefan Mauer, Head of Marketing at KYOCERA Document Solutions Germany, discussed various options at the German Brand Convention. Rummel talks about the challenges posed by the size of a group, but also some solutions – for example, Deutsche Bank’s intranet, where employees can exchange ideas and anecdotes from their everyday working lives. Mauer describes how the Japanese-based company’s corporate philosophy is put into action by the international subsidiaries through employee workshops and training, how-to videos and podcasts.

You can see the whole discussion in the video here (please mind, the talk was held in German):

Anchoring brand goals internally

Winners of the German Brand Award 2019 also emphasised at the awards ceremony the relevance of anchoring your company’s goals, and thus the essence of your brand, internally – in every department and with every employee.  They also saw winning their award as a means of communicating their own commitment to their colleagues..

Walter Capellmann, DELA Lebensversicherungen, CEO  

Before we can even start to think about marketing, our brand needs to be understood and internalised by our employees. Accordingly, internal branding is very important to us: you have to stand behind your brand and convey credibility.

Philipp Mokrohs, FC Bayern Munich, Head of Brand Strategy & Brand Management

Winning an award is particularly important for internal branding, as it shows our colleagues what we can achieve in our branding work. As far as we are concerned, tradition is strongly anchored in our brand, but we are also highly innovative and in a continuous process of digitalisation and internationalisation. Our brand presence must encapsulate both: the modern and the traditional.

Extract from the German Brand Monitor 2019/20: Budget available (36%) / No budget available (64%)

A study reveals: often there is no budget allocated for internal branding

In the context of the German Brand Monitor 2019/2020 decision makers’ study – published by brand consultants GMK Markenberatung and the German Design Council – companies were interviewed about various areas of brand management. Internal branding activities were also addressed. Sadly, this showed that 64% of the respondents admitted that they had not yet allocated a budget for this. Accordingly, many companies have a lot of catching up to do in this respect.

Hans Meier-Kortwig, GMK Markenberatung

During the course of our study – the German Brand Monitor 2019/20 – we have discovered that there is still much to be done with regard to holistic brand management: this must be lived and breathed – not only in communications, but throughout the entire company – from sales and production to the human resources department.

Extract from the German Brand Monitor 2019/20: Statements on internal brand management.
61,3% – “Our employees identify with our brand.” 56,8% – “Information about our brand is accessible to our employees at all times.” 35,9% – “We have a budget for internal branding.”

article by ndion (sb)

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