Success for a new startup often comes down to crafting a brand that inspires not only potential customers but also motivates team members. While many people think of branding as solely involving a company’s aesthetics—the packaging, logo, web design—these things are all in service of the ultimate goal of good branding creating an emotional connection with the brand. Check out the following techniques, along with the companies that have successfully employed them, for achieving a brand and message that will help evoke passion for your business, both internally and externally.
Tell Your Story
Stories help foster that emotional connection with your brand. The story you tell about your brand, your company and yourself needs to be authentic in order to resonate. Think about what sparked the idea for the company, the people involved and why they are passionate about the product or service when crafting the brand story. This story will then serve not just as a valuable marketing tool but as the foundation for all other branding initiatives.
It’s not enough just to get your story out there, you need to be creative about how you tell it. Companies like Amway and GoPro have effectively used videos to convey the story of their brands. Amway, instead of using an origin story, uses the individual stories of team members from around the world to convey their message of global possibility and passionate entrepreneurs. GoPro uses an interview with their founder, cut with exciting and beautiful GoPro video footage to tell their brand’s story of capturing life’s adventures. Both are captivating and connect both the consumer and employee to the brand.
Support a Cause
Studies show that consumers, in particular millennials, are drawn to companies that have a charitable component. A company whose sole mission is to make money is no longer capturing the attention of millennial customers. They are interested in seeing a brand culture of giving or supporting a cause. Entrepreneur.com gives the example of Harry’s Razors, which partnered with Movember (a prostate cancer awareness initiative) and increased traffic to the company’s website by 360 percent.
Having a cause-driven brand is not just good for external marketing but also for internal morale and employee recruitment. In a five-year study conducted by Achieve called the Millennial Impact Report, it was found that employees (particularly millennial employees) are more likely to take jobs and stay at companies that incorporate causes into their brand culture, more so than at companies that offer sufficient volunteer opportunities.
Create a Consistent Message
However you define your brand, you will be most successful if you broadcast a consistent message both to the consumer and to your team members. The Harvard Business Review gives the example of a health insurance company that advertised its main focus as a commitment to patient health and yet told employees that their main goal was to keep costs down. In this case, the employees lost faith in the integrity of the company.
A more successful alignment of internal and external branding is Ford’s “Quality is Job 1” campaign from the ’80s, which became both an employee motivator as well as a signal to consumers that Ford equaled quality, which was particularly important during a time when foreign cars were being sold for less.