Inside-out branding

Inside-out branding


I’ve had quite a time this last year, it’s been a period of great change. But as a nomad who has spent a lot of time away from home, it’s been a privilege to work out of Dublin as well as my usual London base.

I’m truly delighted to be working with some of Ireland’s most successful businesses. Global success stories, they have taken their ingenuity from their respective corners of Ireland, to the world — creating many sustainable jobs on the way.

When we first engaged with these new clients, I was struck and pleased by the fact that HR had a decision-making seat at the table for their re-branding projects. From the outset our approach had very much focused on the mindset of the brands and how this affects behaviours — more than any visual approach. And this proved to be the difference in winning their business. Simply, we were on the same page when it came to how to create a purposeful brand that can take on the world.

‘Attend to your own oxygen mask first…’

Like the helpful air crew that caution you to ‘attend to your own oxygen mask first’, I believe that a little self-care is not only essential maintenance and best practice for your people – it’s actually instrumental to delivering a better experience to your customers. After all, your happy people are more likely to deliver genuine customer care and positive interactions to your end-customers.

For many progressive businesses, the idea of continuous improvement is deeply ingrained. Moving from more legacy ‘transactional’ employee mindsets into a space of engagement and growth is a great improvement opportunity. Not only for the organisation, its people, but ultimately it benefits each and every end customer.

When we engage in repositioning or rebranding, the most important aspect is not the visualisation of a new brand. Not even the language we use. But these are the most visible and the most useful signifiers of change. Your brand is judged ultimately by the improved experiences it delivers. These experiences or interactions with the brands are complex. And often, not entirely within our control. In fact, from a technical error on a website – to a miscommunication on a phone call, they can sometimes simply go wrong.

You are what you do…

This is where behaviour is important. Behaviour in brands, just like people, reveals our internal truth. Our core values. Just as people with a growth mindset cope well and choose to do the right thing when things don’t always go right, so too does the brand where the people are aligned and trained to share common values. And a sense of purpose.

Make your commitment to your people tangible. Train-in the real, living values of the organisation into everything you do. Do this and it can make a measurable difference to performance and satisfaction (internally and externally). Because values drive behaviour. And of course, collectively, behaviours become culture.

I believe that nothing has more impact on people’s working lives and a brand’s performance than a positive culture. So, for me, this is not some theoretical management exercise we are engaged in, this is making people’s lives better.

The pace of change

It may seem at the outset to be a lot of hard work. And, there’s no doubt that this is a medium to long term change we are talking about. But, it’s my experience that even the process of seeking genuine engagement and asking for feedback sets the wheels in motion. And, rapidly yields results.

It’s exciting to be working in a way that adds value — not only to our clients — but to their people. Is it an irony that this feeds my own greater sense of purpose?

You have the right to remain silent, but …

If you have thoughts on organisational change, employer branding and building great brands, I’d really love to hear your thoughts

Garrett Reil

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