Branding your In-House Services
While the debate continues as to whether to out-source or keep services in-house there is a third alternative that could achieve some measurable benefits...While the debate continues as to whether to out-source or keep services in-house there is a third alternative that could achieve some measurable benefits!
In so many instances, the internal services essential to make an effective company run effectively are unrecognised, under-valued and often un-represented. As a result, they can be seen as second-rate citizens waiting to be told, expecting to respond rather than taking the lead, and to do well only what they have been asked to do. This is hardly the usual customer service orientation and requirement to under-promise and over-deliver that is the hallmark of a successful marketing sales operation!
A possible alternative to out-sourcing is to give your internal service provision an identity of its own in order to raise the profile, the personality and to attribute brand values to what is otherwise considered a "necessary evil". The Function is already well known but can be enhanced. The Value may well be recognised by those paying the bill but not necessarily as well recognised by "customers" and suppliers to the function.
The "psychic" properties of personality, image, reputation, perception, attitudes etc. can and will "make the difference", if the first two characteristics of Function and Value are generally "equal".
Think of what is possible if a fraction of your marketing budget was invested in marketing your internal service provisions by providing your entire team with a philosophy, personality and promotional proposition, they are likely to repay the investment by :
* Leveraging the opportunity to market and sell their services on every occasion.
* Developing a more positive personality surrounding the services they provide.
* Delivering a better result as they are more proactively involved in it.
* Providing a greater opportunity to promote the services and skills you provide to an existing and larger audience.
Result - by doing things differently, the existing team leverage their potential and achieve more for the same investment.
* There is a greater "cachet" and image attached to being a member of the branded services team.
* "More, more often successfully supplied" could well become the "tag line" of the internal service provision that is branded and has a personality rather than is simply a service function.
"It came home to me," says the author, when undertaking a Marketing Awareness Programme for a well known drinks company. The credit controller reached a break through moment - "My job is often perceived as the policeman who stops things happening and turns off the facility to supply. Actually, if I look at my role from a marketing perspective I encourage people to make best use of the scarce resource called cash. This is going to alter my thinking fundamentally and over time the role and contribution of my team".
Just think, which word would then be used to characterise and describe your branded internal service provision.
* Policeman or coach?
* Deflector or facilitator?
* Achieving compliance or optimising creative means to solutions?
* Behaviour conditioning or encouraging creative solutions?
* Fire-fighting or brush cutting?