When brands and their agencies plan communications together, a component that largely gets overlooked is what to do within the company itself. Internal communications is a massive group of channels, and in the past couple of years it has become clear that what happens inside company walls is as important (if not more) as what is said outside.
A few brands have been on the right track and investing in their "insides" for a while now, and have earned respect in turn. Starbucks gives health care benefits, coffee and business education to all of its employees; Nokia's "Power of We" environmental initiative began as an internal credo and rallying cry; Google's "20 percent time" philosophy keeps employees inspired and allows them to enrich every part of their lives.
The most recent and impressive example of a brand that has done this is Honda, who recently relaunched their Power of Dreams Web site. Through a series of short documentaries, employees and friends of the company are interviewed to give candid thoughts and anecdotes.
The series that launched first, Dream the Impossible, centers around the tenacity that Honda employees have in achieving seemingly impossible goals and being unafraid of failure. Engineers, designers and even Honda's then-president and CEO regale us with stories. They touch on engine failures, factory recalls, public apologies and taking risks without a safety net. Giving this type of bare-it-all peek behind Honda's curtain is admirable; how many CEOs publicly talk about encouraging their employees to fail as many times as it takes in order to make "fantastic advances in technology"? It feels honest and genuine, and not just a marketing gimmick. The videos also demonstrate the value that Honda places on community by showcasing anecdotes and opinions from employees at all levels within the company.
New videos will be uploaded every few months to give us a peek into Honda, and the minds that make the company tick. Together, the videos lead to an insightful understanding of the values and philosophies that fuel the company, and speak volumes more than a traditional ad campaign could.