Nine golden rules to help live your brand internally

Is your brand living up to expectations? Or is your brand story a string of broken promises?

ATIC_goldenquoteOver-promising but under-delivering is a major turn-off for customers. A disparity between an external promise and the ability to affect employee behaviour to deliver that promise internally, is one sure way to do that.

Here Ashley Freeman, Head of Sales and Marketing at employee engagement company INVOLVE writes for my blog to share his top tips and golden rules following an event focusing on brands last week.

How to keep your promises by living your brand internally 

What happens when employees can’t deliver on the promises that their brand has made to their customers?

This was the theme of our session at the 2015 CXEdge event, held at the Victoria Plaza, London, on 26-27 March to demonstrate how placing the customer experience at the heart of your brand can give you a competitive edge.

Believe, trust, train & invest in your people; allow them to add value to turn customers into fans” 

CX Edge 11th Commandment, Telefonica CXEdge Presentation

As people are becoming more empowered in their daily brand choices, brands are fighting hard to differentiate themselves in order to court new customers and hold onto their existing ones. Reaching out to customers is now about so much more than products and services. It’s about the whole brand experience.

Here’s how it happened on Twitter:

The 10 Commandments of customer experience:

The Secret to Happy Customers:

Broken promises

Customer experience is a strong currency in today’s business world. The inspiring and captivating presentations at CX Edge were testament to that. But what about the employees who are expected to deliver on that promise of a great customer experience?

What we’re really interested in is driving the right behaviours and attitudes internally, to a place that reaches beyond ‘good customer service’ where employees are the driving force of a company brand and values.

Through our CX Edge session, we tried to stress to attendees the gravity of broken brand promises. We broke the ice by asking each attendee to share a moment when a celebrity that they met in real life didn’t live up to expectations.

We then went on to look at some of the biggest brands on the high street – Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Natwest & Lloyds – and how these companies are living up to their brand promises (see image). We purposely chose brands that have a high level of daily interaction between their employees and their customers.

We shared our ‘golden rules,’ which help companies we work with maximise the impact of their brand and prioritise the right things when it comes to growing their brand.

Our Golden Rules:

  1. Get it right inside first. A brand is a promise. Trust takes a lifetime to build and a moment to lose.
  1. It’s about delivering a differentiated brand experience not just great customer service.
  1. It involves everyone in the organisation, not just customer-facing employees
  1. Helping people to live your brand internally is about involvement, not internal marketing.
  1. Face-to-face collaboration and discussion is the most powerful way to create deep understanding.
  1. Line managers are key. The more they understand why and how to live your brand, the more your people will get it and the more your customers will notice.
  1. Help employees translate what living the brand means to their role, location, personality, it’s not a spray job.
  1. Like all the best marketing, it’s not a one-off activity – it’s a sustained campaign of ongoing activity.
  1. Your brand promise is not a code of conduct, a way of ‘doing’. It’s a way of ‘being’.

Did you attend our session at CX Edge 2015? Tweet us with your thoughts @involve_uk!

Are your employees living your brand values?

At INVOLVE we design and produce brand activation experiences and integrated campaigns that powerfully immerse and involve employees in how best to live a brand promise. How can we help you?

Post author: Ashley Freeman

Thanks Ash. What do you think of the golden rules? D0 you do something similar? I’d love to know your thoughts – you’re welcome to comment below or Tweet me @AllthingsIC.

If you want to read more on this topic, see this guest article on how to communicate the DNA of an organisation.


First published: 2 April 2015.


  1. Ben says:

    Hi Rachel, love the website and the blog posts. Just wanted to let you know that I subscribed over a year ago and at some stage stopped getting the notifications by email. My boss also had the same problem… just wanted to let you know…
    cheers and hope to see you at a conference some day!

  2. Thanks for your comment Ben, I’m sorry to hear that, I’ve just pinged you a note. Your boss can add their email address here to be signed up immediately: Thank you for reading, Rachel

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