How Internal Brand Drives Talent Attraction and Retention

4 July 2024 | 4 min read

By Kate Davis, Executive Coach & L&D Consultant at BAND

Your most valuable asset isn’t your client roster or sleek office space — it’s your people. We often focus branding efforts on attracting clients, but what about drawing and retaining the talent that makes small businesses thrive? Welcome to the age of internal branding, where your company’s soul is your competitive edge.

The War for Creative Talent
The creative industries are fiercely competitive, not just for clients but also for top-tier talent. With the rise of remote work and the gig economy, employees and workers have more options than ever. They’re not just looking for a paycheque; they’re seeking purpose, growth and a culture that resonates with their values. Your internal brand is what sets you apart in this crowded marketplace.

What is Internal Branding?
Internal branding is the practice of aligning your agency’s values, mission and culture with your employee experience. It’s about creating an environment that embodies your brand promise. It’s about building psychological safety and a culture where you as an employer put your money, time and energy where your mouth is.

Done right, it turns your team into passionate brand ambassadors who produce great work and attract like-minded talent.


The Ripple Effect of Strong Internal Branding

1. Talent Attraction:
These days, job seekers research companies as thoroughly as investors, so your agency’s reputation matters. A strong internal brand radiates outward. When your team shares their positive experiences on platforms like LinkedIn or Glassdoor, it piques the interest of high-calibre candidates. Silence also speaks volumes — if none of your employees is saying anything about you online, potential candidates will assume the worst.

2. Retention and Reduced Turnover:
According to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management, replacing a creative professional can cost up to 213% of their annual salary. A robust internal brand fosters loyalty and engagement, reducing turnover and the associated costs.

3. Enhanced Creativity and Productivity:

When people feel aligned with your agency’s values and mission, they’re more invested in their work. This alignment leads to higher-quality output and increased productivity. Employees who feel safe making a mistake are also more likely to innovate, leading to a better solution for your clients.

4. Client Trust:
Clients want to work with creative agencies that are also stable and reliable. Low turnover and a cohesive team signal to clients that your agency is a well-oiled machine.

Building Your Internal Brand

1. Define Your Core Values:
What does your agency stand for beyond making profits? It could be innovation, sustainability or diversity. Make these values tangible in daily operations. Fold these into all your operations, including your recruitment and appraisal systems.

2. Foster a Unique Culture:
Culture isn’t just ping-pong tables and ‘Wheatgrass Wednesdays’. It’s how you communicate, collaborate and celebrate. Create rituals and norms that reflect your brand.

3. Prioritise Professional Development:
Great employees crave growth. Offer career pathways, mentorship programs, skill-sharing sessions or even a budget for courses. Show you’re invested in their careers.

4. Transparency and Open Communication:
Share agency wins, challenges and strategies with your team. Transparency builds trust and gives everyone a stake in the agency’s success.

5. Recognise and Reward:
Go beyond annual reviews. Recognise great work promptly and publicly. Align rewards with your values to reinforce what you stand for.

6. Lead by Example:
As an agency owner, you’re the chief brand officer. Your actions and decisions should consistently reflect your agency’s values and mission.

The Future is Internal
In a world where talent can work from anywhere for anyone, the companies destined to thrive will offer more than work — they provide a sense of belonging. By investing in your internal brand, you’re not just attracting talent but building a community of brand champions deeply committed to your company’s success.


If you’d like to chat with our expert team about your team’s culture, your internal brand or attraction and retention, please get in touch.

Let’s Talk


Tel: 020 8138 5560


111 Charterhouse Street,
London, EC1M 6AW


Julian Davies

Julian Davies

Managing Partner at Redfin

Managing partner and Chartered Accountant with 30+ years of experience in marketing, media, and creative industries. He leads the Redfin team, offering expert advice on growth and profitability. Former owner manager of an agency acquired by a listed group; his industry insights are second to none. Off duty, you might find him on the golf or tennis court, determined to master new tricks.
Shelley Watkin

Shelley Watkin

Client Finance Director at Redfin

A qualified Chartered Accountant with 20+ years of experience in the marketing services sector. During her 5+ years at Redfin, she served as Client Finance Director offering invaluable insights into strategic and commercial matters. Shelley has also assumed the role of Finance Director for various creative agencies, guiding them through successful sales processes. If she gets free time after managing her children’s busy schedules, she likes to chill out doing yoga and gardening.