Want your brand to stick? Train your team

You did the audit. You created the strategy. You built the brand.

And no one cares.

What happens when your latest branding efforts fall flat? Do they go back into the drawer of “good ideas that didn’t pan out?”

Well, assuming your branding is benefit-focused, audience-centered and relevant, the next step on your list is training. Lots and lots of training (Of course, there is another way – we could do that training for you).

It’s great to write your brand down. We are big believers in it. But writing your brand down is just one step in a progressive process to marketing success. You have to make people live your brand.

Maybe a few of your most loyal team members will hop on board immediately, but more likely, most people will take a “wait-and-see” approach. You may even encounter some initial resistance to your brand.

To start training: Start with your team. Hold regular training sessions for them on topics related to the brand, like how to write in brand, using the logo and other important info, like how processes work. It’s important that everyone on your marketing and sales team become brand ambassadors.

Once your team is fundamentally trained, ask them to start doing the same thing – training their stakeholders appropriately. Reach out to other departments. Understand their needs from the brand, and then create training that suits their needs.  

It’s easy to think that you have more important things to do other than train your team, but this just isn’t the case. While it may take more time to organize and plan training, the long-term effects far outnumber the result of “doing it yourself.” Every time you train a group, you increase your brand’s power as that message goes out and multiplies.

Don’t be afraid to get people excited about your brand. Create freebies both for your stakeholders and your team members. Give out t-shirts, hats and mugs.

You may find that some of the objections to your brand are legitimate. That’s OK. Your brand is not a static thought. It is a growing, evolving, living idea. With that in mind, don’t be afraid to continually incorporate changes into your brand. Of course, you shouldn’t let this run away from you – your brand’s message and voice should be central – but it’s worth listening to people who engage with your brand.

A brand is simply a way to sell an idea – about what your organization is, what benefit it offers to people and why those benefits are important. You’re looking to create momentum, and in order to do that, you’re going to have to both educate and excite people. The first step along that path leads toward training. Without it, your brand will struggle to reach its full potential.