Time to make a difference

7 August 2023
Marcel Wijnen.

Marcel Wijnen, Creative Director at Hulsbosch

People engage with brands, not businesses. Whether it’s deciding where to spend their dollar or choosing where to grow their career – people care about the values and behaviours of the brands they interact with.

Organisations that recognise the success of their business and brand are linked to the strength of their internal culture are well positioned to accomplish their desired results.

To achieve this, businesses are increasingly turning to internal brand campaigns that emphasise these values, recognising that a strong internal culture can have a profound impact on their external brand perception and confidence in the company’s brand.

Internal brand campaigns are an underutilised strategy and have an important role to play in revitalising brand across the business every day.

The effect is three-fold; to build pride and belief in the collective purpose of internal audiences; to attract new talent through a culture that they can believe in; and create a halo effect for the broader public about the higher values and behaviours of an organisation they can choose to, or not choose to, engage with.

A culture to believe is heightened when a business commissions campaigns that support societal changes and brings attention to for example health and welfare topics. Multinational consumer goods company Unilever delivered a project called “Unmute”, which was aimed to create awareness and engage their 150,000 workforce on the issues of domestic violence.

Like Unilever an internal brand campaign is by no means a small campaign and for many businesses it’s trying to reset a conversation and culture for a large internal audience. Just think of some of the country’s big employers; Coles has 120,000 employees and BlueScope employs a team of 16,000 people worldwide with a business spanning 100 facilities reaching into 18 countries around the world.

Consider that every employee at one of these Australian or global companies has a circle of family, friends, and acquaintances and then word-of-mouth is amplified as a powerful extender tool for the brand.

A well-executed internal brand campaign promotes diversity, acknowledges, and celebrates the uniqueness of employees recognising that individuals from different backgrounds and perspectives bring varied insights and experiences to the table.

Our work with SBS showcased the broadcaster as an employer of choice with a campaign that highlighted how its people can “Be the Difference”. It features a diverse range of employees and their roles in ensuring the voices of communities are heard, informing, and entertaining all Australians.

Diverse and well-rounded teams lead to more creative problem-solving, better decision-making, and increased innovation as employees feel empowered to express their ideas without fear of exclusion or bias. And in my experience, it is a truism “when everyone is included, everyone wins”.

Also, often internal brand campaigns are used for attracting new talent through targeted marketing programs directed to online and social media recruitment advertising, as well as more broad communications for careers and recruiting websites and portals.

A reminder not to forget, in a talent poor environment where businesses need to fight for talent – talent want to know what you value, what you’re doing about it, and how you’re making a difference.

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