Matt: Hi Chris!
Chris: Hi Matt!
Matt: Hi everyone! It’s another Monkey Monday.
Chris: Very well said.
Matt: I got it right, I got it right! And today we’re talking about internal branding and culture.
Chris: Yeah, so what is it?
Matt: So we talk about branding an awful lot, and the importance of it and how you communicate externally – but this is how we communicate internally, how we bring everybody on board. So it’s adopting that brand, that communication and culture, across every aspect of your business to create a shared vision together.
So it’s everyone in the company. Your delivery driver, people who answer your phone, your sales team, your marketing, your managers, people right at the top and right at the bottom, having them all understand your culture and how you communicate.
Chris: So what makes it important? Why would we do internal branding and culture? Why would we work on that?
Matt: Well, for a start, I think it gives a better experience for all of your customers. So anybody who interacts with anybody in your company, hopefully if they understand everything you stand for and are communicating really well, then they’ll get that same feeling and response that you get from everyone else. So your delivery drivers, for instance, if they turn up and they speak the same way that your sales team speak and the way your website speaks, then you’re gonna get that consistency of brand and everything like that.
Chris: And also, the people in your team will become happier because everyone agrees with the whole company sentiment. And it will reduce conflict amongst people because everyone is in fact one big team rather than separate individuals believing separate things.
Matt: So a good example is if you’ve got your sales and marketing team and they’ve got a real focus around brand and communication, and they’re separate to your, I don’t know, product development team, for instance, if your product development team don’t understand your cultural message and why you do what you do – if they’re not with that same vision about whatever it might be, making the tastiest lemonade out there – if they’re not behind that vision, then they might be producing stuff that doesn’t fit with it. And that’s when you’ll get conflict. The sales team are trying to sell a product that they don’t particularly believe in, or the product guys have developed something that doesn’t fit in with how the sales team communicate. So reducing that conflict is achieved entirely through that cultural branding.
Chris: And there are some really amazing changes that can happen when everyone feels that same way about a company. It’s amazing what differences happen to the customer.
Matt: And it’s even down to recruitment. So there’s really good evidence to suggest that you should employ people who fit into that culture, who are gonna slot straight into what you believe. And that’s maybe even how you do your interview process – you know, making sure that they’re going to treat people the same way, act the same way, treat your customers the same way, and be behind your products in the same way. It’s probably more important than their skillset, because you can teach people skills, but you can’t necessarily teach people to feel what you feel and believe what you believe.
So, overall, once you adopt it internally, it’s a great place to start and you’ll suffer fewer problems across your business.
Chris: So let’s look at how we can do it. So the first point here is be inclusive.
Matt: Yeah, so try not to create some internal guidelines and say, ‘This is how it is,’ but instead you wanna take people on that journey. You want to have people get to the same conclusions you’ve already got to, rather than trying to enforce exactly what that is.
Chris: I think someone’s at my door.
Matt: Oh, really?
Chris: But that says…
Matt: Oh well, I’m sure it’s no one important.
Chris: Nah, I’m sure it isn’t. Anyway, the other thing we’ve done recently is we’ve been running creative workshops with other companies, and that’s a way of bringing everyone in from a company and everyone coming to the same conclusion about a brand on their own. It really makes people feel involved in the whole brand of a company, and it’s really useful.
Matt: Yeah, and you could take those creative workshops away and do them with the rest of the team as well, so if you have a very big company, to get people to adopt that same belief, that same branding and communication, you could ask them the same questions that you might have in a wider creative workshop with your creative agency. So it’s a great way of taking people on that journey so that they all get to that same place.
Chris: Yeah, and it works better than just having a random single belief statement that you hand out when you first join. It sort of gets people involved and you can mould a brand from within rather than just go, ‘This is what it is’.
Matt: Yeah, I think when people understand how you’ve got to that belief and they share that belief, it’s easier for them to adopt it, rather than you saying, ‘This is what we believe – you must believe this now!’
But, saying that, making sure that everybody has access to that communication, those guidelines, and understands those statements is important. But you should make it as relevant to everyone in the company as you possibly can, so making sure that communication document and that branding document resonates with everybody across your business is another great way of making sure you achieve your internal branding and culture.
Chris: Yeah, and one way to make it relevant is actually rather than just having an out-there vibe about what your business does, it’s how you interact with people, what you put in your emails, or how you answer the phone – all those important things need to be in there, rather than something that’s a bit more flowery.
Matt: Yeah, great. So we hope that’s been really helpful to you and we’ll see you next week.