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5 reasons your multi-brand enterprise needs a single digital home

Taking a multi-brand strategy approach means your enterprise can reach different market positions to meet different customers’ requirements, but what about employees? From a branding perspective, it can be difficult to connect all your operating companies and make them feel like a part of the bigger, parent company, while also allowing them to keep their own identity that customers know so well. Here’s how intranet technology may be the key to uniting your multi-brand enterprise.

Man at home using mobile intranet software

Unlocking the potential of your multi-brand enterprise

The positives of having a multi-brand approach are vast; it not only allows the business to reach more customers through different channels but also leaves less room for competitors in the space. It’s an approach that many enterprises choose for their brand development strategy – but it can bring with it some challenges. The main one being: how can you connect the different operating companies under the same parent company, while letting each sub-brand keep its distinct identity?

Brand reputation is hugely important, especially in a multi-brand franchise. Each brand will have built up its reputation with its customer base, becoming a trusted face in the market. But the need to preserve this branding has resulted in fragmented culture, knowledge, systems and services, which will fail to maximize in potential and ultimately be costly.

Additionally, when it comes to your brand, employees can be your greatest advocates, and the focus needs to not only be put on how you can best synchronise your brands but also how you can connect your employees and ensure they are continually engaged and valued.

It may seem like a huge task, but beginning by implementing a single, digital home – such as an intranet or employee experience platform – can be a huge first step. Having a single space online that all employees across all brands can log into to collaborate and communicate with each other is a sure-fire way of bridging a connection between all brands while preserving the uniqueness of each subsidiary. Not only this, but a modern intranet will also consolidate the fragmented technologies and services of your multi-brand enterprise, while still preserving the brand identities of the different operating companies.

How to unite your multi-brand enterprise with an intranet

Many brands unite under one umbrella to achieve operational efficiency, but they are often held back and not optimized to their full potential because there is no single way to unify services, knowledge, and culture. To truly drive peak optimization through cooperative brands, the modern intranet holds an abundance of potential.

Here are 5 ways that an employee experience platform can drive and optimize value and efficiency, while also improving the overall employee experience across all brands:

#1. Create a cohesive culture

Organizational culture is undeniably one of the most crucial aspects when it comes to business retention and employee happiness. According to research by Deloitte, 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success. It may seem simple to many: a happy culture = happy employees. But when your enterprise is made up of different brands, subsidiaries, or divisions, spanning across the globe, it’s may not seem so easy.

Being able to create the same workplace culture in different locations faces challenges such as language barriers, time zones, and differing cultures. For a truly united organization, all employees – regardless of location – need to be aligned with the company mission.

Tablet intranet translation

Employee Resource Groups

Implementing employee resource groups (ERGs) through an intranet can be a way to bring together teams of workers that operate in different brands. An ERG is a workplace group with the aim of providing support, enhancing career development, and contributing to personal development in the work environment.

In a multi-brand environment, ERGs can become spaces for employees in similar spaces across the different brands to join and talk to like-minded people. ERGs can range from groups that are role-specific – such as an HR ERG – to safe spaces to grow diversity awareness – such as a women’s network or an LGBTQ+ ERG.
ERGs are a great way to promote an inclusive, collaborative culture across the different brands, giving employees the resources, learning tools, and promoting online events that connect employees across the globe.

Social channels

Social channels are another strong way to build collaboration, communication, and a culture of community within a multi-brand enterprise. Done correctly, social features and dedicated channels enable employees to share their ideas and experiences and to look beyond their immediate colleagues for support.

The Adecco Group is an example of a multi-brand enterprise that utilizes social functionality well on its intranet platform. With over 9k employees in over one thousand offices across the world, The Adecco Group found that business silos were negatively impacting the productivity of the business. As such, social was given priority positioning throughout its platform, ADICT (Adecco Intranet Collaborative Tool).

"If we manage to change the working habits of staff – if they use Unily Social to speak to people doing the same job in different offices – we will know we have succeeded. Unily Social did just that, facilitating borderless communication that reduced time wasted duplicating workloads and made employees feel more connected to their counterparts in other offices."

Raphaèle Lhomel - Deputy Head of Communication at The Adecco Group France
Adecco mobile intranet social

In the first four months alone, The Adecco Group saw strong results from its social channels on ADICT, showing that employees had taken to cross-office communication and collaboration:

  • 6,164 social posts
  • 16,479 social reactions
  • 70 social channels
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#2. Achieve leadership visibility

For a multi-brand business, making sure the enterprise as a whole is pulling in the same direction is essential. Despite each brand having their own goals, drivers and market influence, the company should still be aligned to the overall business goals.

Having a central point of communication means that leaders have visibility and easy access to comms across the whole of the enterprise. Without a unified platform, leadership communications may have to be reposted across multiple platforms, which can prove to be tiresome, time-consuming, and may result in overlooked errors.

Mobile intranet leadership updates

Two-way leadership comms

A single intranet platform can also open up easy two-way communications with the leadership teams from the different operating companies. Making use of platform features such as video, forms and polls, multi-channel delivery, and targeting means that leadership is able to communicate and update their entire workforce quickly and easily, building trust through a culture of transparency.

Giving employees and leadership teams the ability to comment, give feedback, or submit questions makes the comms two-way, opening up conversations to the entire workforce and making each employee feel appreciated and valued.

Thumbs up symbolizing approval

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#3. Represent your different brands’ individualities

As many multi-brand enterprises span countries and continents, ensuring the experience for each employee is targeted and relevant is a must. Having the ability to target news and content for different regions, languages, teams and brands means employees only get the information that is appropriate and significant for their roles.

Targeting/personalization

A targeted homepage is also an ideal way for employees to see the widgets and features that relate specifically to their job roles, ultimately cutting through the noise, delivering the most relevant tools and information to improve engagement and productivity levels.

It’s not just content that should be targeted – navigation through the platform can be also streamlined by personalization. Being able to personalize the navigation bar is key to making sure every employee is only one click away from having the relevant tools they need.

Mobile intranet targeting

Theming

Additionally, with each brand under the umbrella group having established its own identity and built up a reputation with its customer-base, it’s important for the individuality to be represented throughout their intranet workspace. Theming allows the different operating companies to keep their own brand colour scheme palette and identity, representing the distinct luxury and comms that are specific to their own brand.

#4. A single platform for a consolidated experience

Many multi-brand enterprises have grown and adopted new brands through mergers and acquisitions, but as these operating organizations will have stood alone before joining their new umbrella company, they will have bought with them the technologies, tools and applications that they have become reliant on using in the past.

IT teams will usually be on hand to prioritize migrating the new brand onto the parent company and consolidating any technologies that will need to be used. This may include their company intranet. It’s common for multi-brand enterprises to have various intranets being used by the different operating companies in the franchise.

Consolidating these into a single, employee experience platform can not only increase productivity by minimizing the time that employees spend flicking from one platform to another, but it can also boost engagement, security, and communication. It additionally means the enterprise is only paying the cost of one intranet, while also enhancing stability and culture in the workplace as all employees log into the same platform, regardless of where they are.

Shared services

Regulating the services that the different brands are using to run their operations can also contribute to a reduction in overhead costs. On average, companies waste an average of $247 per desktop on unused or rarely used software. Having all employees across the globe united and using the same digital tools and applications, means unused technologies can be retired.

Intranet apps and tools

Multi-tenant 0365

Multi-brand enterprises may find themselves with multiple Office 365 tenants, which can prove tricky when the goal is to deliver a unified experience for all employees. In many instances, the business identities your employees use for accessing their different systems are often directly tied to the Office 365 tenant they belong to.

To solve this, it’s best to go for an intranet platform that can be established and connected to multiple different Office 365 tenants. This will allow for every employee in the organization to have access to the same intranet, no matter what Office 365 tenant they are logged in as, and consequently eliminate any siloes that may have been created by complex IT landscapes.

Colorful light swirl symbolizing a united tech stack

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#5. Share knowledge across brands effortlessly

Business and product innovation are vital for continuing to stay ahead of the curve. Research by CIO Insight found that as a direct result of inefficient or ineffective communication, companies lose between $11,000 and $15,000 per employee per year.

For a multi-brand enterprise, it’s important to encourage employees from different brands and operating companies to talk with each other and share success stories, problems, knowledge, and trends they are seeing in the market. It’s important to learn from experience, and so brand-to-brand collaboration and communication are crucial to continually improve and innovate.

Ideation

Ideation makes it possible to tap into those often hard-to-access insights on how you can improve anything from business processes to employee experiences, across your enterprise. Creating a dedicated space for ideation can unlock innovation and untapped knowledge, by having employees from different brand intuitively make their ideas known simply by clicking the 'Create an Idea' button on their company intranet.

Intranet ideation

For multi-brand enterprises, getting ideas quickly off the ground can sometimes be problematic. With an ideation hub, it’s easier to incorporate more agile problem solving and look internally for support, ideas, and feedback to aid a mindset of continuous improvement.

Group ideation facilitates innovation and knowledge exchange and is additionally easy to govern. Leaders can ensure ideation is used productively and for innovative use, keeping ideas and insights under reign and making sure they are acted on where appropriate.

Employee using digital workplace ideation

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Unite your multi-brand enterprise today with an intranet platform

Take your multi-brand enterprise to the next level and create a cohesive, positive culture with an employee-centric intranet. Speak to our experts today to learn more.

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Reinvent your intranet for the employee experience era.

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