Marketing a new brand and product internally to your employees could be more important than what your customers will ultimately see.
My marketing software company, VerticalResponse, has been around for 11 years. We've been able to attract some amazing small business customers to our email marketing, survey and event marketing features to help them grow.
But we're going through a bunch of major changes--both external-facing and internally--that's going to move the company in a new direction. (I wrote about this in a recent post, Why My Company Pivot Scares Me.) We've come a lot farther along since that blog post, and the excitement is building up. But the journey is still scary as hell.
In a nutshell, we're changing our online services to be better and faster. The hope is that our current customers embrace us because we're finally answering a lot of the requests they've had (and have been long overdue), and that potential new customers like us for the different offerings we'll be serving up.
We've built up an amazing company and product over the course of 11 years. But what we're doing is SO different than what we've offered in the past that it's time for a rebrand.
So with 125 employees and over 130,000 customers, we've got a ton to manage inside and out. Some of the things we're working on include:
Get people excited about the new product while having to manage the old stuff for a period of time.
Get people excited about a new brand when they came to work for the old one.
Get people to think different. The old ways of doing business can't be the baseline. You need to "re-train the brain" in all of your team members so that they think about asking what used to be the impossible ... now.
Marketing our new stuff internally is more important in my book than what our customers will ultimately see. Having your team excited about what you'll be offering, sharing the 360-degree big picture with them, and getting them to truly understand the heart of the new brand is going to make the company a success way more than the ads you're going to show or what your website will look like.
JANINE POPICK is the CEO and founder of VerticalResponse (a Deluxe company), a leading provider of self-service email and event marketing, online surveys, social media, and direct mail solutions. The company was ranked No. 2,802 on the 2012 Inc. 5000. @janinepopick