The 50/50 Split Between External and Internal Branding

Last week I wrote a blog post for the Content Marketing Institute about Why Brand Storytelling Must Start With Human Resources. Based on the responses I’ve received, this definitely hit a chord.

A colleague of mine is a CMO for a multi-billion dollar technology company, and we talked about the piece. Interestingly, with this of a global size firm, I assumed internal branding and communications was a given. Turns out, that’s not the case.

In fact, her internal communications team consists of exactly – you may want to sit down for this – him.

Why is this?

They’ve spent millions in the last decade re-branding the company, making sense of how to bring sub-brands under the umbrella in a way that makes sense to both the companies they acquire and the parent brand. They’ve gone so far as to re-engineer the look and feel of the products they sell to support the brand story they’re telling. Externally.

Now he’s turning that level of attention internally to employees. He’s even talked about (who knows how seriously) splitting his budget 50/50 between internal and external branding.

Here’s why.

In order to make the story we tell externally, we have to make sure that our employees understand it and can make it come alive. As marketers, we spend so much time creating that promise of what a customer or prospect can expect in doing business with us. The promise we make about where we’re leading them through thought leadership. How we demand their attention and expect them to stay loyal as customers.

And now we have to create promise keepers; the people who make all of those external promises come true, and they can’t do it without understanding the story we’re trying to tell and the promises we’re making.

It’s no different than buying a high-performance sports car and then taking it to Billy Bob the mechanic for service and using low-grade fuel. It doesn’t matter how great it looks on the outside. It’s what’s on the inside that makes the difference in high performance.

Image: Stock Free Images


     About Carla


Carla is a world-renowned storyteller, an entertaining speaker, and a prolific author. Having lived, worked, and studied on five continents, she's partnered with top brands and conferences to train thousands of people how to rethink the work that they do and the impact they can have. Her visionary expertise has inspired and equipped leaders at all levels to embrace change, welcome new ideas, and transform their business.

Her work with Fortune 500 brands served as the foundation for many of her books. Her tenth, RE:Think Innovation, is a #1 new release that busts the myth that innovation is something that requires a specific degree or special training. In fact, Carla explains why, to be a successful company in today's hyper-competitive, customer-driven world, innovation must be everyone's business. Her goal is to teach one million people how to become innovators by 2025.

Consistently named one of the top influencers in B2B, digital and content marketing, Carla regularly challenges conventional thinking. Today, she travels the world teaching anyone (and everyone) how to cultivate idea-driven teams that breed unstoppable creativity and game-changing innovation.