How to align your internal culture with your brand idea

Graham Robertson


Your brand idea should steer the internal culture to inspire and steer everyone who works behind the scenes of the brand. Brand leaders must manage the consistent delivery of the brand idea over every consumer touchpoint. Everyone should be looking to the brand idea to guide and focus their decisions. More companies need to focus on their internal brand, to make sure management, customer service, sales, HR, operations, or an outside agency are all moving in the same direction.


Align your five consumer touchpoints


Five main touchpoints reach consumers, including the brand promise, brand story, innovation, purchase moment, and consumer experience. Regardless of the order, they reach the consumer; if the brand does not deliver a consistent message, the consumer will be confused and likely shut out that brand.


How the Internal brand stretches across the five consumer touchpoints

  • Brand promise: Use the brand idea to inspire a simple brand promise that separates your brand from competitors, and projects your brand as better, different, or cheaper, based on your brand positioning. 

  • Brand story: The brand story must come to life to motivate consumers to think, feel, or act while establishes the ideal brand’s reputation to be held in the minds and hearts of the consumer.

  • Innovation: Build a fundamentally sound product, staying at the forefront of trends and technology to deliver innovation.   

  • Purchase moment: The brand idea must move consumers along the purchase journey to the final purchase decision.

  • Consumer experience: Turn the usage into a consumer experience that becomes a ritual and favorite part of the consumer’s day.  

Marketing your brand to employees inside your own company

The best brands consistently deliver. When you build your brand idea, I recommend you use a cross-functional team, including salespeople, R&D, human resources, finance, and operations. Their participation is one way to gain their buy-in. But that’s not where it stops.

Use your internal brand communications tools to drive a shared definition of the brand idea. Get everyone to articulate how their role delivers that brand idea. Give the external and internal brand story equal importance to the consumer experience you create for your brand.


Everyone who works on the brand should use the brand idea as inspiration, and to guide decisions and activities across every function of your organization. It is the people within the brand organization who will deliver the brand idea to the consumer. Everyone needs a common understanding of and talking points for the brand.


When you work on a brand that leads to the customer experience, your operations people will be responsible for the face-to-face delivery of your brand to the consumer. Develop a list of service values, behaviors, and processes to deliver the brand idea throughout your organization.


Ritz-Carlton Case study: A culture of Impeccable service


Ritz-Carlton does a lot of things right to earn the high prices they can charge for the best locations, beautiful rooms, excellent beds, and incredible meals. But in reality, every luxury hotel has beautiful, luxurious things to offer. Ritz-Carlton focuses its attention on delivering impeccable service standards to separate the brand from other hotels. What Ritz-Carlton has done so well is operationalize it so that culture and brand are one.


One idea Ritz-Carlton talks about is meeting the “unexpressed” needs of guests. As marketers, even with mounds of research, we still struggle to figure out what our consumers want.


However, Ritz-Carlton has created a culture where bartenders, bellhops, and front-desk clerks instinctively meet these “unexpressed needs.” Employees carry aroun