Allergy season is starting in Virginia, and that means cough drops are always in my husband’s pockets. This weekend we discovered HALLS have motivational sayings inside their wrappers!

Is this new? Or are we late to the game? Turns out we’re late to the game – I found a blog post about this from way back in 2010. Oh well.

In so many ways, I love this. When you need a cough drop, you also need a pick me up – a little #HALLSPepTalk to remind you that even though you may be feeling bad, you can still make it through the day. The brand geek in me immediately thought “brilliant!” – HALLS is staking out a unique place in the over-the-counter medicine industry: the Dove Chocolates of cough drops.

Looking at their social media, @halls is taking on this brand messaging in a strong and consistent way. They’ve even created a Spotify playlist!

The little things a brand does on the outside can have a huge impact on their bottom line. More people will choose HALLS in the future because they make us feel good in our throats and our hearts.

But the Smart Branding™ geek in me wonders – what kind of work are they doing inside their brand to make sure their employees feel the same love and motivation as their customers?

Are there weekly Pep Talks? Are there Hi-fives for employees who go the extra mile?

Mondelez International, which owns the HALLS brand, has a strong supportive global presence. They have robust sustainability practices for sourcing ingredients, and are partnering their brands with organizations that support “humaning” (their self-described approach to marketing). They have a Code of Conduct, Corporate Responsibility Guidelines and more, all of which they publish on their website.

It’s impressive.

Of course, I’m still curious to peek under the hood to see if what they do on the inside aligns with what they say on the outside. Do they subscribe to the same “listening, empathizing and connecting” with their own people as they do with their marketing efforts?

What a company does on the inside of their brand impacts the authenticity and sustainability of their external efforts. True brand alignment can make all the difference.

Our Smart Branding process begins on the inside. We want to hear from every voice in an organization before making strategic decisions about how a brand is presented to the world. Unless everyone from the C-Suite to customer-facing employees is aligned on what the company and its brand promise mean and how it’s delivered, the brand won’t ring true.