How language reveals barriers to success

Gill Ereaut
Linguistic Landscapes

When a corporate brand needs radical change, there are typically barriers in the organisation's internal culture that make change difficult to achieve. Using a recent brand renovation project as illustration, Gill Ereaut shows how closely analysing the company's internal language reveals these barriers and provides an effective way to make changes.

A 'customer-focused' internal culture is necessary to support a healthy brand. But how do we achieve this? The language used to describe what is sometimes called inside-out or internal marketing is revealing. Typically, something is done to staff; they are positioned firmly as another target group. 'Internal marketing' is 'rolled out' to the 'internal consumer'; 'staff communications' and 'staff engagement' programmes are required. Employees are clearly on the receiving end of something created elsewhere.