“What we have here is failure to communicate” - this oft-quoted line from pre-salad dressing tycoon Paul Newman’s movie ‘Cool Hand Luke’ is a phrase that rings quite true for organizations around the world. Because let’s face it, companies big and small all struggle to effectively communicate internally at some point.
And unfortunately, the ramifications of poor internal communication can be quite drastic when it comes to your brand image and how consumers view your company overall.
To help understand the importance of clear internal communication, here are some common types of communication errors, as well as a list of some of the pitfalls that can come from poor communication.
When it comes to internal communication errors, there are many different kinds that can originate from all over the organization. Here are some of the most common.
There are tons of great communication platforms available for businesses of all sizes to help ensure that communication is consistent and streamlined throughout the organization.
However, if even just a couple of employees don’t buy-in to the communication tool, it can cause lasting (negative) ripple effects throughout the organization.
For example, let’s say your team uses Slack to exchange important information. However, one team member still doesn’t regularly use it, so they miss out on important messages within their respective channels. This can throw off the regular flow of communication and cause details to slip through the cracks.
“I’m pretty sure I cc’d you on that email…” Ah yes, we’ve all heard that phrase when someone approaches us asking where a portion of a project is, resulting in a fervent scanning of emails to search for it.
Whether the email is there or not isn’t really the point, but instead, this goes to show how sometimes email is not the best way for sending and receiving information.
Instead, the future of internal communication is integrating the workflow and communication capabilities into a single software or solution. For example, Esko WebCenter allows packaging design teams to work from a single source of truth, getting all the assets and info they need from one location to help limit miscommunication.
Golding weekly meetings to see where everyone is at with specific projects can be easier for smaller companies, but even large organizations should have systems in place for consistent status updates.
Finding the right way to effectively hold status update meetings that make sense for your organization’s size is an important part of ensuring that your internal communication is consistent, accurate, and effective.
For larger companies, breaking your status report meetings up by team or division and then having the leaders report their updates to one another is a great way to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Not giving employees throughout the organizational chart the opportunity to let their voices be heard is a big mistake that many businesses continue to make.
Not only should all your employees feel valued, but they should also feel empowered to speak up and offer their own solutions and expertise when challenges present themselves.
Make sure that your organization is encouraging two-way communication throughout your teams.
When it comes to creating a positive brand image, your brand assets are key. Brands must be constantly evolving and changing to fit their consumer’s preferences. Even the constant and steady presence of Coca-Cola’s brand allows changes to packaging and assets from time-to-time — like their Share a Coke campaign which altered their iconic packaging to incorporate people’s names.
The point here is that when your brand assets are changed, or if you have new assets and files to integrate into your branding, everyone who needs access to those new assets should have access to them. Digital asset management software can help you achieve that.
So, how do all these failures contribute to harming your brand? Here are a few ways in which internal communication and inefficiencies can cause your brand image to spiral.
Not only does accidentally using expired content make your brand appear outdated in the eyes of your consumers, but it can also end up costing your organization money.
If there is not a record of content availability, content that is expired or old could get used. For example, if you have an image that your brand was licensed to use for two years and it is used after that timeframe, you may run into copyright infringement issues which can result in lawsuits and fines.
When it comes to copyright issues, you can never be too safe. In order to avoid this problem, incorporating software with digital rights management — like MediaBeacon — will ensure that no one on your team accidentally makes this mistake.
Inconsistency in your branding and content can be just as detrimental as being outdated or redundant. Perhaps the most harmful variation of inconsistent content is the messaging.
For example, let’s say an apparel company is running a holiday promotion — buy one, get another 40% off. However, through a miscommunication error, some of the banner ads for this campaign read “Buy One, Get One 50% Off.” So, when their consumers get to the website, they are disappointed to see that it is only 40% off.
Another example could be if a brand is deciding between two types of messaging for a campaign and the two different messages get mixed-up between teams. Therefore, some teams are working on content that is using a completely different message from another team.
Today, the way in which your customers experience your brand is of paramount importance to your brand image. However, because your brand is present in so many different avenues, it can be quite difficult to ensure that everything is properly aligned — not just in terms of the message, but also the product packaging.
Imagine if the wrong asset gets used for a social media post, banner ad, email, or even on the website for a product. When a customer makes a purchase online and then receives the item, it looks completely different.
Sometimes you might hear about people ordering clothes or other items online. Once the item arrives, it is a totally different shade of blue, green, etc. than what was shown on the website. Essentially, their expectations are not properly met and they are dissatisfied with their experience.
As you can see, keeping your internal communication consistent, streamlined, and effective is as important as any other part of your organization. Even if your communication seems pretty solid, you should still always be looking for ways to improve it through techniques, solutions, and software. Organizations that effectively communicate internally are usually set up to do the same externally, helping their brand image stand out in a sea of competitors.
If your business is encountering some of the communication failures, you’re in luck. There are some tremendous tools out there that can help streamline your communication to keep conversations flowing error-free.
One such tool that can improve your internal communication is a business process management (BPM) solution. BPM software allows you to use a form to kick-off a project and then automatically route tasks with review and approval so you can always see the status of projects and track it to understand where there might be bottlenecks in the process.
With the need to have a strong digital presence — and therefore the need to possess digital assets — having the ability to store and share all your digital assets easily is a must in today’s world. So, for businesses struggling on that front, MediaBeacon is here to help.
MediaBeacon is a digital asset management (DAM) software that allows you and your team to store all your brand assets in one centralized location, where you can give access to specific assets for those that need them. In addition to making it easier for your team to find files, images, fonts, designs, and the rest of your brand assets, MediaBeacon also provides the following benefits for your organization: