Richards Puts Branding on ‘Inside’ Track

DALLAS The Richards Group has created a unit called Richards Inside to help companies align their internal and external brand messages.

Former senior planner David Cole launched the effort last week as director with Holly Moore as associate director.

At Dallas independent Richards, the unit has been in development for nearly two years. It began when Cole, 44, rejoined Richards in 2001 after receiving a master’s degree in science and organizational development at Pepperdine University. “It struck me that … there’s a real opportunity to take some of this learning and bring it into the agency to effect the change [clients] want,” he said.

Richards Inside will initially target existing clients and new business in categories such as retail and financial services, Cole said.

As an example of how internal branding can work, Cole cited Southwest Airlines and its “You are now free to move about the country” campaign, which is backed by an internal-branding line, “Freedom begins with me.”

“That’s the gold standard, and how you get there is one of the things I’m out to do,” Cole said.