Branding from the Inside Out: A Comparative Analysis of Internal Employer Branding and External Customer Branding  

Image to show BluZinc advice on Employer versus Customer Branding

In the dynamic world of business, branding has long been recognised as a crucial tool for establishing a distinct identity, attracting customers, and fostering loyalty. However, while the concept of customer branding is widely understood, the significance of internal branding, often referred to as employee branding, is often overlooked.

Customer branding focuses on creating a compelling image and perception of a company in the minds of external stakeholders, primarily customers. It encompasses various elements, including logo design, marketing campaigns, and brand messaging, all aimed at shaping customer perception and driving purchasing decisions. Internal branding, on the other hand, centres on cultivating a strong brand identity within the organization, specifically among its employees. It involves defining and communicating the company’s core values, mission, and culture to foster employee engagement, pride, and advocacy.

Despite their shared goal of shaping brand perception, the allocation of resources between customer branding and internal branding often reveals a stark contrast, and there is often a financial divide between HR budgets and marketing budgets. According to a 2022 survey by LinkedIn, marketing budgets typically dwarf those dedicated to HR initiatives. While marketing budgets averaged 10% of total revenue, HR budgets hovered around 2%. This disparity reflects a common misconception that employee branding is solely a recruitment and retention tool, neglecting its broader impact on customer attraction and retention.

The Unsung Hero of Customer Satisfaction: A Strong EVP

A strong employee value proposition (EVP) serves as the cornerstone of internal branding. It articulates the unique benefits and experiences that employees can expect by joining and contributing to the organization. A well-defined EVP not only attracts and retains top talent but also fosters a sense of purpose and belonging among employees. A study by Glassdoor found that companies with strong EVPs experienced a 22% increase in employee engagement and a 21% decrease in turnover intention. These positive employee attitudes often translate into exceptional customer service, contributing to customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Why Internal Branding Matters for External Perception

Engaged and proud employees become brand ambassadors, actively promoting the company’s values and reputation to their networks, including potential customers. Their positive experiences and enthusiasm for the company can significantly influence consumer perception and purchasing decisions. A study by Gallup found that companies with highly engaged workforces experienced 21% higher profitability and 20% higher sales. This suggests that internal branding, by fostering employee engagement, can directly impact the company’s bottom line.

Having a holistic approach to company branding requires a strategic balance between customer branding and internal branding. While external branding attracts customers, internal branding empowers employees to become brand advocates, fostering customer loyalty and driving long-term success. Organizations that recognize the value of internal branding and invest in creating a strong EVP reap the rewards of a motivated workforce, satisfied customers, and sustainable business growth.

You may be reading this and thinking you want to consider reallocating some of your marketing budget to HR! This could help you to attract and retain top talent, which could in turn help you to improve your marketing results.

There are many benefits to increasing your HR budget. These include:

  • Improved employee morale and engagement. When employees feel that their company is investing in them, they are more likely to be engaged in their work and to be productive.
  • Reduced turnover. A focus on people initiatives can help to reduce turnover by creating a positive work environment and by providing employees with the support they need to succeed.
  • Increased productivity. Employees who are well-trained and motivated are more likely to be productive.
  • Improved talent attraction and retention. A strong EVP can help to attract and retain top talent by creating a competitive benefits package and by developing a strong employer brand.
  • Increased innovation. A culture of innovation is often the result of motivated and happy employees. 

If you’re wondering where to begin with designing your EVP or how to refine your existing approach, we’re here to guide you. We invite you to book a complimentary 30 minute consultation with one of our experts, consider it a collaborative session where we’ll explore potential avenues, address challenges, and craft a EVP roadmap tailored for your business’s growth and success. Also, with the new year and new budgets coming up, you may want to consider us for any EVP needs next year. 

At BluZinc, we’re passionate about helping businesses like yours achieve their long term vision and annual big goals. Let’s work together to ensure your EVP is completely designed and implemented as a tool to be the driving force behind your continued success.

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