It usually takes the business world a while to catch up and understand the value of new ideas and innovative practices coming from the academic community. The intrinsic value of internal branding has been discussed for many years on campuses around the world, but it finally took a five-year study to prove the point fiscally. Recent studies prove that effective communications plays a significant role in delivering a total shareholder return of as much as 29.5%. These numbers are powerful proof that employees like to be involved with the business in many ways. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. Organizations with poor communications have a negative 15% total shareholder return against comparable businesses.

Businesses spend tens of millions of dollars on external marketing communications plans only to have leads sit on a desk or the prospect under-whelmed by the first impression of a colleague. We all sit and wonder why the ad campaign didn’t work, the finger pointing begins and the ad agency is fired or even worse, you are.

Internal brand communications is certainly not a difficult concept to grasp, however the methods by which we communicate and what we share may be. Keep in mind that this is not a marketing or human resource issue, it must be a company wide initiative. Employees want to know where the company is headed strategically, financially and from a community standpoint. Employees like to see their names in newsletters and in e-mails, sharing the news connect people to people. You will find that throughout this post, we site specific methods of sharing information by well known brands and the importance of such communications in corporate structures.

Many of us have experienced eyewitness accounts of colleagues and employees not delivering the company “brand promise”, it can be both frustrating and more importantly financially draining to the business. We’ve all experienced walking into a retail environment only to be disappointed by the way we were treated, we tell our friends and family and they spread the bad news. The ripple effect can be devastating to the business.

So how do we change it? Strong leaders, across the company buy-in, making the emotional connection, communicating a million ways and holding people accountable are the keys to a successful and effective communications program.