That’s great, but who’s going to do the work?

HOW TO BUILD A BRANDING TEAM


©Somewhere Else
If you’ve arrived at this article after reading the rest of our Branding Starter Kit, you’ll know that effective branding requires empathy, awareness, lateral thinking, and communication skills. The ideal candidates for an internal branding team would possess all these qualities, and be cross-functional in research, strategy and marketing.

But what if you’re a small, cash-strapped company and can’t take on new hires at the moment? What are some ways in which you can use your existing team to effect brand-positive outcomes? You might already have capable team members who work well together, but many employers find it difficult getting employees to take on projects outside their existing job scope.

The good news: Between your marketers, business developers, designers, and administrators, you actually have everyone you need to launch a branding task force. Better yet, they’reprobably already doing most of the work you’ll need to improve your branding. What’s missing is a reframing of this work, and putting it all together.

Branding is as much about internal communication as it is about what you communicate to
customers. How often do your different teams consult each other about projects that they’re
each working on? By harnessing expertise across various departments, you can easily avoid
branding misfires, missed opportunities, and come up with some pretty great branding ideas.

Assembling a branding task force
A small company can assemble a branding task force made up of four distinct roles:
1) Landscape Expert
2)
Brand Champion

3) Brand Guardian

4)Customer Proxy




1) Landscape Expert

Qualities

● Knows all about industry trends and competitors
● Keeps up with current events and social/cultural trends
● Has a wide social network, or is very insightful about human behavior

● Business development
● Research
● Managerial


Branding Task Force Role

● Conducts research in the form of casual interviews
● Inform branding efforts with their knowledge of industry and socio-cultural landscape
● Gain insight into customer sentiment with their intuitive nature




2) Brand Champion


Qualities
● Understands company’s mission
● Creative thinker
● Unbothered by limitations
● Good communicator

Usually Found In
● Upper management
● Marketing
● Creative

Branding Task Force Role

● Idea generation
● Designing solutions/prototyping new branding initiatives



3) Brand guardian

Qualities
● Detail-oriented
● Anticipatory and forward-thinking
● Able to articulate what they don’t know
● Good communicator

Usually Found In
● Design
● Public Relations

Branding Task Force Role

● Quality control of brand as it is presented across all channels
● Assisting Landscape Expert with research design
● Working closely with Brand Champion to design solutions (and act as a reality check if
needed!)



4)   Customer Proxy

Qualities
● Similar to target customer profile
● Able to voice opinions directly and honestly
● Uninvolved in business growth plans
● Administrative
● Operations
● Sales

Branding Task Force Role

● As “voice of the customer”, this person should be encouraged to constructively criticize
and share their opinion
● As the in-house interview/test subject for quick customer research and prototype testing
● Able to play devil’s advocate, with no vested interest in branding projects

By assigning these roles to existing job functions, branding becomes less of an extra task, and more a change in mindset about the work you’re already doing. For example, in casual
conversation with prospective clients, your business developer might be picking up valuable
information about upcoming trends, but they’ve never had a reason to share it with your content marketing team. Together, might they come up with an engaging thought piece that echoes what your audience is already feeling? Your graphic designer might have noticed that a recent corporate function didn’t accurately reflect your company’s personality, but they were never in the same room as the planning staff. Together, could they have made the event more impactful? Perhaps there’s that one loud person in the break room who always has something to say about everything. Why not put them to use, with an internal review of your own products and services?

By identifying your team members’ strengths and allowing for some open communication,
building an internal branding team can be as humble or ambitious as you want.

︎BONUS STEPS (How To Align Your New Task Force) ︎

1. Get everyone together for an honest dialogue about the brand
Where does the team see the brand in 5 years? What do they understand about the company mission, and who do they think their customers are? How does each team member’s role relate to a different department?

2. Set a goal
Be clear about what you’d like the branding task force to achieve, and why. Set realistic,
quantifiable benchmarks and metrics. (eg: customer reviews, membership referrals, etc)

3. Show them how it’s done
Demonstrate what the task force is expected to do, by reframing some of their previous
work as an actionable branding insight.




This kit contains DIY branding solutions, customisable to your pace and budget. Alternatively, request backup here.



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