Creating resilient brand tribes

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IN this highly globalised competitive business world, the human component has become key in marketing and increasing the brand equity of an organisation through cut throat marketing initiatives. Given the increasingly digitalised marketing world, many organisations have been “trapped” in the information and communication technology to push their products and services to a market saturated by all sorts of information platforms churning out all kinds of messages from a restive business community.

Robert Mandeya

As companies grapple to attain that competitive edge, it has become more than necessary to continuously review their strategies so as to claim that pole position on the market. Many companies however risk losing the plot by overly investing in the digital mode of operating while ignoring the human capital side. Notwithstanding the efficacy and cost effectiveness that the digitalised modus operandi has brought, it is still necessary for companies to adopt a two-pronged approach by also making sure the human capital is also integral in brand engagement.

Adaptive and resilient
To make our brands incredibly adaptive and resilient in the face of fierce competition, the training of our human capital in internal brand engagement is now more compelling than before. This kind of training helps each and everyone understand the brand in a way they can own it as well as feel as important part of the organisation. Once everyone is “attested” into the organisational brand, it would create an enduring and valuable internal and external image that will be difficult to challenge.

It is the internal audience that gives that unique expression of who you are as an organisation and it is these same people who if properly engaged can create a vibrant brand. It is therefore strategic to work from the inside out.

Communication strategy
An organisational communication strategy therefore must be put in place in order to support the strategic objectives of the organisation. The communication objectives should be derived from the organisation’s over-arching strategic objectives with a view to ensuring that all staff understand and own their organisation’s mission, vision and values and commit themselves to taking the organisation to the next level.

Communication strategy is the “how” (versus the “why” or the “what”) of communications. A communication strategy is the overall approach that will be used to mobilise the communication resources in the most effective, creative, smart way possible to achieve organisational objectives.

Communication is the lifeline of an organisation. In any organisation, it is vital for members of the organisation, also referred to as internal publics, to show the linkage between their use of communication resources and the work they do.

Communication in an organisation acts as the linkage that connects the subsystems to the whole system — the organisation. As with any system, a weakness in any subsystem affects the whole system. Thus, poor communication affects an organisation’s operations and hinders it from achieving its goals.

Management must ensure effective development of staff communications skills and behaviour through recruitment practice, induction, training and appraisal management systems.

Recommendations
Appropriate communications competencies are included in job specifications

All staff formally inducted in organisation’s communications standards and written/ electronic communication guidelines.
Staff assessed against communications competencies and training provided as necessary.

Within and between each programme or activity, communication should take place in a language or languages with which all staff are familiar. Also within and between staff, written communication must be clear and concise. All major initiatives by the organisation should include a specific staff communication plan.

Further to this, management should ensure that all news and information reach staff in sufficient time for them to be able to comment or take action as appropriate. Accordingly, staff must be consulted on matters that directly affect them before decisions are taken, where this makes decisions most effective.

Communication is not only strategic but is a crucial tool in support and promotion of organisational objectives. The ultimate goal of communication is to facilitate change in attitudes and behaviour rather than merely to disseminate information. The internal and external “messaging” should be consistent with the internal and external interaction of the human capital.

For every organisation to achieve its goals and operations as well as creating a sustainable brand, it should realise the centrality of communication in doing so.

Every management function must exert its self to bolstering the internal and external communication system so as to establish and maintain a lasting impressionable brand for the growth of business. This can only be achieved through assisting its human capital to own the brand and making them feel as an important part of the organisation.

Mandeya is a senior executive training consultant and communication in management advisor, a personal coach in leadership and professional development with the Institute of Leadership Research and Development. You can contact him on mandeyarobert@yahoo.com or mandeyarobert@gmail.com.

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