Five Tips and Tricks for Creating an Internal Project or Program Identity

Your employees are busy with work and struggling to manage each day with so many emails and meetings. It is often difficult to get their attention. One of our consultants was asked to lead a communications team for a global technology program with a large pharmaceutical company. They needed to find ways to cut through the clutter and get their message out to target audiences. As a result, they created a strong internal program identity. Mid-point through the program, employees were asked to rate how aware they were of this project. Over 90% of these employees displayed awareness.

Here are the top 5 tips and tricks that played into the success of this work:

  1. Do not be afraid of color – After reviewing many internal programs, it became apparent that the program could break through the clutter and stand out more by using stronger, less traditional corporate colors. Another option was to add a color wash over some photos to help them seem unique. 
  2. Test and socialize – Before finalizing key attributes of the identity and critical messages, significant effort was put into socializing these aspects with key stakeholders like regional managers, end-users, global functions, HR, and other programs and departments to make sure we caught any concerns or ideas. For example, in one instance a different program group felt a color aspect was too close to something they were using, and it would confuse the audience, so adjustments were made.
  3. Set the boundaries – To ensure that everyone creating communications around this global program was using a consistent look and feel, a style guide was created and made available on the team’s portal.
  4. Alignment is vital – Even small organizations have silos, and with a large global program and with everyone working remotely, this tendency is even stronger. Significant effort was spent up front to align everyone to the overarching identity and unified direction. Getting a critical Senior Leader on board as a champion was a key early win. Continuing to keep open lines of communication ensured internal teams did not start creating their own separate graphics, designs, or identities for their own piece of the puzzle – a common occurrence. 
  5. Train Ambassadors – Assigning various program team members as Ambassadors required intentional training on what that role means, and why showing up consistently is important. One revelation that helped the team improve was candidly sharing real-life examples of how the team did not show up together, it unified the team towards improving together.

One final tip that may not be applicable for all companies is around the use of the word “logo.” For many companies, the only logo is the corporate or company logo. In this situation, the Corporate Branding Team approved our creation of a “word mark” and “graphic” that never appeared next to each other yet seem to resemble a logo and created a strong identity.

To learn other tips, feel free to reach out to Robin Gervasoni, senior Change Management professional, specializing in Executive and Internal Communications.