Introduction to Team Branding
I’ve written much here about personal branding, but as I’ve worked with organizations over the years I’ve also realized the importance of effective team branding in any organisation’s success.
Your HR, IT or marketing team might add enormous value to the business, but unless you communicate that value, the decision-makers may never know about it. And Team branding is not just for internal functions – it also applies to business teams, sales teams and even sports teams. In fact, team branding is likely to become a key business issue in the future.
Every company and every person has a brand. Your brand is the consistent image that pops up in people’s heads when they think of you. Team brands are born when there are customers to serve, skills to be practiced and value to be created – your team becomes known for something. Consciously or unconsciously, employees and managers interact with your team every day and they are further cementing your brand position. There’s no room for complacency – you need to ensure your team’s value is communicated well and consistently to ensure your team is viewed as an irreplaceable service rather than a non-essential function.
Building a brand for your team
Great brands provide a source of identification and an assurance of quality. They simplify decision-making and crisply communicate the value they create for their customers. And great brands make and keep their promises. These characteristics differentiate great brands and cement their leadership credentials.
In terms of team branding, members of a well branded team are able to clearly communicate what they do and why they are vital to the company. They are able to convince others of their value and turn them into brand ambassadors for the team.
To create a team brand, the team needs to have a clear understanding of its target market (who does it serve?), its core competencies (what does it do better than any other similar team?), the benefits it offers (what makes it valuable?) and its brand personality (what is distinctive about the way the team does things?).
By building a team brand you create an air of distinction for your team which can go a long way when you are competing for attention, budget and relevance within your organization.
Effective team branding results in recognition from customers and peers. With recognition comes feedback and insight, which assists in making your team even more streamlined and efficient. Recognition turns the spotlight onto the team and the individuals in it. People develop pride in what they are doing, which in turn increases productivity, quality of work and morale.
Your team becomes a trusted source of information and will be sought after. You become more relevant. When you’re relevant, you are able to command an increased share of budget and management attention.
A strong team brand supports the broader strategic corporate objectives, and thus assists the company in being more competitive in the market. Your team moves from a service role to a strategic one.