Speaking on 'The power of the inner crowd: Building Asian brands from the inside out' at Crowdsourcing Week 2013, Reiter noted that the involvement of internal stakeholders often leads to the discovery of hidden strengths.
“Building brands on the basis of culture and core internal truths is more credible and effective,” she said. “It allows the brand to be created organically, reflect the corporate spirit and to grow with the business.”
Traditional branding methods assume a top-down approach, which results in most brands being detached from the organisation, with little momentum.
Reiter said crowdsourcing internally and co-creation with employees allow better, more authentic brands to be created, while overcoming alignment challenges. A sound similarity between brand promise and corporate reality can be achieved, and a strong brand relevancy created, based on a diversity of ideas and perspectives.
“We manage cultural variation by building brands around a shared purpose and corporate culture,” she said. “We develop sustainable brands that speak of the people and company they proudly represent.”
Reiter said staff members are often not valued in Asia, and this leads to companies experiencing a fierce war for talent. Hence, conglomerate growth is largely achieved by acquisition of diversified revenues, while brands are seldom used to accelerate operational alignment.
Because of the market diversity in Southeast Asia, companies should unify staff around a common purpose and culture, she said.
Internal consensus should be built around a big idea to get buy-in throughout the organisation, while employers should value the expertise of the front-line staff who represent the brand on a daily basis.