Rapidly evolving market dynamics and increasing consumer expectations have pushed the need for brand development to a critical point. Consumers and employees are more attuned than ever before to identify and recognize a brand’s notoriety and honesty. If they sense something is awry both groups will move on to a company that appears more legitimate.

The guidelines of establishing a brand are evolving rapidly – For HR professionals this unearths an opportunity to develop an authentic company brand. Drawing on insights from across an employer’s enterprise can transform an organization’s personality and activates a culture that can be identified by both current and prospective employees. Here are four ways HR can help drive transformative change through building brand.

Make Yourself Known:

Having spent my career in a number of marketing roles, I can say from experience that a decade ago this role would often go unrecognized at many companies. Marketing was often used as a scapegoat when hard times hit.  Now, marketing has become a visible and respectable necessity within the C-suite. While changing market dynamics have played a significant role in driving this change, another major catalyst has been the proactive efforts of marketing professionals who knew they could deliver significant strategic value and weren’t afraid to make it known.

In many ways, HR today finds itself in a role similar to that of marketing a decade ago. The fast moving shifts in employee and consumer sentiments have created an environment in which HR are ideally positioned to play a transformational role that can trickle through the entire organization. Yet, the reality is HR isn’t on many business leaders’ radar – at least from a strategic perspective. You often have to invite yourself to the table to present a value proposition and insights that are compelling enough to assure that you are more than welcome to stay there.

Be Strategic and Insightful:

An abundance of HR professionals have settled into more administrative type roles, focusing on filling headcounts and completing paperwork, while simultaneously  missing opportunities to inspire and create real change.

In order to challenge this way of thinking, one must put on their marketing cap and focus on identifying a company’s strengths, brand and character – then develop and execute strategies to promote such personality traits in ways that strengthen employee engagement.

Successful marketing focuses on open communication and connection with key stakeholders in methods that enhance trust and rapport. Starting from within an organization generates enthusiasm behind a brand from all over your company. How do you determine if you are successful?  Monitor what current and previous employees write about your company on social media, message boards and job sites such as Glassdoor. This is where you will see whether or not your brand resonates.

Collaborate with the Whole Company to Develop a Brand:

The old fashion way of building a brand was to use consultants, conduct focus groups, brainstorm and see if your brand messaging landed with your audience.  This methodology worked during a time when companies spoke at customers and employees instead of speaking to them.

The modern way of building a brand starts from the inside and works its way outwards. Accomplishing this requires involving departments throughout the entire organization to cultivate insights and analyze data.

This fosters employee engagement and cross departmental collaboration bringing dynamic and unique insights that are more accurately aligned with a company as a whole. This creates a sense of collusion and teamwork that is crucial to any organizations’ success.

Foster Authenticity Inside and Out: 

Once you have developed a workforce that is both engaged and cohesive, you have actively structured a culture and a brand that employees can trust and get behind. It creates a snowball effect that inspires a momentum of brand advocacy.  Your employees will act as spokespeople spreading their enthusiasm for the company they work for.

If you are genuinely invested in your employees’ thoughts and ideas the impact can be massive.  Your company will become just as authentic on the inside as it is to the outside. Customers, employees and prospective recruits will recognize this authenticity.