One sub-chapter of the act of repositioning of Turkish Airlines (TK) is the concept of employee branding. Employee branding which was neglected for a long time has now moved up the rank to prove as a very powerful tool for a company to transfer the brand image and positioning. The term of employee branding has been a debate in the past but has now moved to a clearer stage with the definition: “the process which employees internalize the desired brand image and are motivated to project the image to customers and other organizational constituents.” (Miles&Mangold, 2004, 68) The understanding of the concept enabled companies as TK to clearly define the employee branding processes and invest to make them better.
TK has been working very hard to found the repositioning of the brand on the minds of employees. The process than aims to gain an organizational position in the minds of consumers via the use of employee branding. The main milestone is an employee to have the knowledge and understanding of the targeted brand image and project that very same image to others. A better definition might be to say that employees are being used as communication tool, which reflect the desired brand image to open public. This method has also a major impact on the competitive advantage of TK as branded employees provide a point of significance.
In Turkey, TK has, by most measures, been the most successful airline. Neglecting other factors, it is very suitable to say that employee branding process has a very significant effect on the overall success of the company. Employee branding enabled competitive advantage for TK by effectively helping the re-positioning of the brand in the consumers’ minds.
The employee branding process by TK requires very close and effective management on the human resources department. The duty of the HR department is to transfer the prepared brand image package by the marketing department and transfer that knowledge to employees and also educate and motivate them to fully understand the message and be prepared to reflect that message to outsiders and consumers. The Chart below is presented to reflect the flow of the employee branding process aims to give a clear understanding on how TK managed to successfully implement the desired re- positioning.
The messages transferred within the flow must clearly convey and the vision, values and desired brand image of the organization as a whole. Every term needs to be clearly defined in a way to cause no dilemmas and ambiguities. The effective transfer of the Tk brand image to employees accomplish two major outcomes. First, this enables employees to know and understand what Tk wants to achieve as a global airline and the desired brand image. Second, it enhances the psychological bond that exists between the organization and the individual employee. This is a fact, which is vital in many aspects for the overall motivation of the employees as well as the organizational life in general.