5 reasons why it’s important for employees to understand the brand

For many marketers, when they think of their brand, they associate it primarily with their customers: “What does our brand stand for in their hearts and minds?” But an important and often overlooked audience is employees. Without the organizing principle of brand among employees, companies face a missed opportunity to bring the brand to life externally.


Here is a video we created for the internal infusion of the rebranded Achieve (formerly Freedom Financial).  It generated excitement, hope, and intrigue, prior to the external launch. The new brand tapped much more deeply into the human and emotional benefits than the previous brand. 

Employees need to understand what their company’s brand stands for, why it’s important, and what their role is in growing and protecting it. Here are 5 reasons why:

  1. Strengthen the brand promise externally. When employees can internalize the strategic direction of the brand, they are able to help the company achieve its mission. Understanding the brand is the best way to help employees make an emotional connection with the promise you are making to your customers. Without that comprehension and unifying beacon, employees are likely to be mis-aligned in priority-setting and decision-making.
  1. Employees are galvanized and motivated by a common sense of purpose. When employees understand, care about, and believe in the brand story, they’re inspired to work harder, together. A unified team can also increase retention.
  1. Employees like being involved in important company strategy.  By establishing that every employee, no matter what their role, is an important part of growing and protecting the brand, they feel entrusted to contribute to an important and meaningful charge. If developing or refining the brand, asking employees for their input shows them that leadership finds each person valuable.
  1. Understanding the brand makes storytelling come naturally. “Brand training” isn’t about memorizing a mission statement or 5 brand pillar words. Understanding the brand is about each employee not only internalizing what the brand means, but also why it is important, and what they can do in their role
  2. Employees prioritize and make decisions based on the same strategy. Employees at every level make decisions all day long that mold your company and mold what the brand means to customers. If your brand stands for, say, trust & safety, teams will use that tenet to decide on what level of risk to with a partnership, or which product to prioritize.

An effective internal activation program means that teams are more convinced of purpose, and their loyalty to the company increases, driving better business results, which are summarized here:

  • Improved Employee Engagement: Employee surveys showed a significant increase in engagement and alignment with the new mission.
  • Reduced change anxiety: With a strategy of frequent and transparent communication, worry and anxiety was addressed and quelled before it got a stronghold.
  • Brand Consistency: The internal brand image aligned more closely with the external brand, providing a consistent experience for both Members and teammates.
  • Brand Ownership: Teammates reported a greater sense of ownership and pride in their role as brand ambassadors, leading to increased advocacy both within and outside the organization.

When teams understand, care about and trust in the brand, they are more interested in being part of the story.