How can you build and maintain your brand in a hybrid world? And what does hybrid work mean for your brand’s future?

Arthur Germain

May 30, 2023

7 Min Read
Hybrid work
Dmitry Demidovich/Shutterstock


Arthur Germain

Let’s begin with a little history: The (frankly, horrible and meaningless) phrase “New Normal” hit its worldwide peak trending online on May 24, 2020. That’s when it reached 100 on the Google Trends index – which means the term was at its maximum usage. The phrase “Work from Home” preceded it by a couple of months, reaching 100 on March 15, 2020, as the entire world was apparently sent home to work remotely. “Hybrid Work” took another year, peaking at 100 on March 27, 2022, but this phrase remains high, averaging over 70 since its peak. It seems that we have settled on the phrase that will remain with us for a while. We are living in a future of hybrid work.

I’m sure that you’ve seen the impact of hybrid work on your own business as well as those of your clients. Your team is no longer always a few steps away, able to be called into an impromptu meeting or client call together. Instead, you’ve replaced a short walk down the hallway with MS Teams, WebEx, and a number of other high-quality video calling solutions. But what has that meant for your brand?

Is Your Brand a Place, Space or Face?

In a recent podcast, I asked whether your brand was represented by a place, a space or a face — or something else? When you think about your brand, what comes to mind? Is it your headquarters and place of business, the spaces where you work with customers or is it the faces of you and your employees? Spoiler: I think it’s your employees. And that can be a problem in the new world of hybrid work — unless you take a few steps to make your brand more portable for the world of hybrid work.

First, let’s see why I say it can be a problem. Your brand – and many much larger brands – have invested billions of dollars in what most people call “branding” – placing huge signs on buildings and putting logos on nearly every vertical surface, bottle, cup, pen, notepad and polo shirt they can reach. That’s fine. But it instantly became a problem when nobody was around to see those logos. Take a moment right now to look around. If you’re in your office, you may see some logos, but if you’re working remotely – if you’re engaged in hybrid work – you probably see far fewer logos. And if that is all you have done to brand yourself and your company, then like I said before, it can be a problem.

Once of the biggest challenges over building and maintaining a brand during hybrid work is the lack or release of control. Ask your marketing team – it’s tough enough asking the sales team to not change a PowerPoint that alters the brand dimension and colors, but asking them to always be “on brand” during a remote video call? It sounds like an insurmountable task.

5 Steps for Maintaining a Consistent Brand During Hybrid Work

Here are five things that you can do to build and maintain a more portable brand for your company – and for your clients. I mention this because as technology solution providers, managed services providers, SaaS providers, and tech vendors you are in a terrific place to make solid technology recommendations for how your customers can maintain their own brands – and how you can help them. My basic idea here is for you to take steps to ensure that your company and all your employees look and sound the same during …

… hybrid work as they do with on-prem work.

  1. Develop and share a single, clean and concise Brand Elevator Pitch. I know what you’re thinking – “Everyone in my company knows our story and our elevator pitch.” But you’re wrong. “Everyone” doesn’t know your brand story as well as you (and your head of marketing). Instead, many employees make up some version of your elevator pitch on the spot – sales guys, I’m looking at you – when they introduce themselves during video calls, at industry networking webinars, and with clients and prospects. Some people don’t even do that, “Hi I’m Dave with XYZ Corp based in Minneapolis, but I’m in Medina right now, living the good life and working from home!” Instead, you could provide Dave – and everyone else on your team – with a simple statement to use to introduce themselves that is more consistent with your brand story.

  2. Encourage Force your team to use a signature file in their emails. This is the simplest suggestion that you’ll read all day. The reason that I make it is because I have received email from many clients and partners that lack any type of signature at the end of their email. Like you, I have scrolled through dozens of emails, opening and scanning them for a mobile phone number – nobody is using a landline because they’re not in the office – only to be greatly disappointed. I have their email addresses, and that is often the only connection I have to them and their company.

  3. Complete your video conferencing profiles. We’ve all been on those calls where we are looking at a screen filled with blank profile figures with a single name. It doesn’t matter whether you’re using Webex, Teams or Zoom, they all offer the ability to edit and save a profile that includes your full name, picture and contact information. You can often make a small change in the way your name is displayed to show your full name and company. Mine says, “Arthur Germain |” so people who are just trying to figure out who else is on their call or webinar can quickly jump to my business page to learn what I do.

  4. Make sure your employees have all your brand tools and guidelines. Look, I know that my designer friends spend a crazy amount of time building brand style guides with information about your logos, fonts, and color palette, plus PowerPoint, Word and other templates. It is criminal to invest the time and money to build the tools and then not use and share them with your entire workforce. Create mini style guides. Use an online tool like Canva. Make sure everyone has multiple copies of the latest version of your logo (the one with the new tagline!) Otherwise, all things being equal and your employees being on their own – they’re going to create those tools themselves. And that leads to brand chaos and a total collapse of society. OK, maybe I exaggerated. Let’s just say that it’s not a good thing for building and maintaining your brand.

  5. Provide brand training. Finally, you need to provide brand training for your entire staff. Not just your sales team and subject matter experts, but your accounting and legal teams as well. Why? Because one of the secrets about hybrid work is that your remote, hybrid workforce is connecting directly with individuals who work for your partners’, suppliers’ and customers’ remote, hybrid workforces! In the office, you may have had some type of protocol in place that only certain employees were to contact suppliers or partners. But in the hybrid work world, ain’t nobody got time for that. It’s the Wild West and everyone is their own sheriff. It’s your job to coach them and deputize them in the brand the right way.

Will this have a meaningful impact on your business? Absolutely! Delivering a consistent brand experience across all of your external touchpoints will yield greater familiarity and help you build greater trust with your partners and customers. It wouldn’t hurt for you to send home some logo wear items for your hybrid workforce to wear during calls either. Dave needs something besides that Twins jersey.

More articles from this author:

Arthur Germain is the principal and chief brandteller at Brandtelling. Follow him on LinkedIn.

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About the Author(s)

Arthur Germain


Arthur Germain is the principal and chief brandteller at Brandtelling. He has recently authored a book called "The Art of Brandtelling: Brand Storytelling for Business Success," available in paperback, Kindle and e-book formats. Visit for information.

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