Für neue Kunden:
Für bereits registrierte Kunden:
69 Seiten, Note: 2,1
List of Figures
1.1 Background of Branding and Brand Management
1.2 Internal Brand Management
1.3 Organizational Behavior
1.4 Employer Branding
1.5 Thesis Framework
1.6 Research Statement and Questions
1.7 Focus and Purpose
1.8 General Outline
2.1 Research Method / Data Collection
2.1.1 Qualitative Research – Exploratory approach
2.1.1 Secondary Data
3. Impacts of Internal Brand Management
3.1 Internalizing the Brand
3.1.2 Corporate Marketing
3.1.3 Internal Communication
3.2 Integrated Branding - Living the Corporate Brand
3.2.2 Organizational Behavior and the Corporate Brand
3.2.3 Corporate-Level Brand Concepts
188.8.131.52 Brand Drivers – Identity and Personality
184.108.40.206 Brand Citizenship Behavior
220.127.116.11 Brand Commitment
18.104.22.168 Organization Drivers - Values
3.2.4 The Corporate Culture
3.2.5 Industry Examples
22.214.171.124 The Starbucks Corporation
126.96.36.199 Patagonia Incorporated
3.3 Competing for the Human Resource
3.3.2 Employer Branding and the Corporate Brand
3.3.3 Employer Reputation and Image
188.8.131.52 Attracting and Retaining Staff
3.3.4 Employer Brand- and Value Proposition
4. Conclusion / Recommendations
6. Declaration of Authenticity
This thesis aims to give an insight into the different aspects of internal brand management and its impacts on employer branding and organizational behavior. In particular it will focus on the internal effects a company brand has on the relationship between the employer and employee as well as on the organization as a whole.
Since the traditional approach of numerous researches has been to focus on the external environment and the effects of a brand name on the customer, this thesis emphasizes on the impact a company brand has on its employees. The concept of internal brand management has existed for quite some time but it seems to have been forgotten or disregarded in the mid- and long-term plans of the majority of companies. The importance of getting across the brand message not only to the customer but also to the people who ‘live out’ and deliver the brand and its values, such as the employees, plays a vital role in the overall performance of any company and its ability to meet long term goals.
The brand of a company has developed itself from being a mere external marketing function to becoming an important internal organizational driver. Its increasing importance in establishing the identity and personality of a company has impacted its way of presenting itself within the labor force market and has established the term employer branding. Apart from being able to position itself in the minds of potential employees, the brand also influences the ways in which employees act within the organization. These influences can be seen in various fields such as organizational culture, social systems, organizational development and the general quality of work life.
The author believes that by putting a stronger emphasis on the internal market and by effectively communicating the values and beliefs of the brand to the employees, a company can positively influence its market position, its organizational behavior and finally its commercial effectiveness.
Figure 1: The Brand Model
Figure 2: Employee Engagement
Figure 3: The Nature of Organizational Behavior
Figure 4: The Integrated Brand Model
Figure 5: The Brand Onion
Figure 6: The Employer Brand Mix
During the preliminary chapter of this thesis there will be a brief insight into the background of branding and brand management as well as an introduction to the key concepts of internal brand management, employer branding and organizational behavior. These concepts will be presented in association with the topic of branding and the problem statement, which will also be clearly defined. In conclusion there will be a short description of the primary purpose and focus of the paper as well as a general outline.
The concept of branding was first introduced in the 19th century when packaged goods were branded with logos or insignias by the factories in order to differentiate themselves from the competition. Even prior to this time, medieval merchants, trade guilds and owners of livestock used various symbols to mark their products or animals to clearly identify their origin. As the pace of commerce and industrialization increased and the distance between producers and consumers grew, the concept of marking or branding ones property changed from being a mere identification process to becoming a symbol of quality and differentiation. Producers were hoping that customers would seek out this particular brand in the future if they were satisfied with it. From then on the brand has established itself as a communication tool between the buyer and seller.
Nowadays, a brand is still seen as being a communication tool to the customer and a way of differentiating oneself from the competition, but its area of application has expanded considerably. The brand has developed itself to being more than just a logo or a name of a product. For a great deal of consumers it has become a part of life and has even influenced the social environment and behavior of many. Modern brands such as Apple’s iPod or Harley Davidson radiate a way of life that express values and emotions and not just a company name. It is seen as a symbol of trust and quality and is a powerful tool to convince potential purchasers and to keep loyal customers. More importantly, a brand has the power to create a so called brand community, a social group sharing the concepts and values of the brand by continuously being involved in brand-related events and purchasing products from that particular brand. Being able to create such communities is an advantage in attracting new customers in an increasing competitive market.
After the concept of branding a product has been widely applied within the industry various companies started to elaborate on the branding concept. The introduction of new terms such as ‘brand extension’ or ‘multi-branding’ increased the effectiveness of marketing the brand to the consumers by diversifying the product range in order to increase overall market share. In order to apply the proper marketing techniques and to increase the product’s perceived value to the customer more efficiently the concept of brand management was first introduced in the early 1930s in the United States of America by Proctor and Gamble. Ever since, the concept of brand management has developed itself into being a key element in marketing.
Even though the concept of brand management has been present for a long time its full potential has not yet been exhausted yet. Its practice in terms of efficiently managing the brand and its value to the external market has been widely elaborated on. Yet the influences and applicability of the brand towards the internal market of a company, its shareholders and employees has nevertheless not been a focal point of many companies.
A brand is a very powerful communication tool and should not just be used to convince a customer and to stimulate the purchasing of a particular product. Just like a consumer brand helps to streamline the selection-making process and acts as guidance for the customer it should also be used to act as a directional device for the employees that work for it. By linking the corporate brand to the values and culture that the company stands for, the organization can create a platform from which to guide its employees and to communicate the company’s values, mission and vision. This linkage can be considered as the internal brand and has taken on a vital role in various organizations.
The structure of an internal brand is identical to that of a regular brand. The brand as such is basically the sum of identity, image and aspiration. The identity is what the brand stands for, its image is what the brand represents and the aspiration is what emotions it evokes. In terms of internal branding the principles of identity and image stand for the culture, values, vision and mission of the organization. The stronger and more precise these are defined and brought across to the employee, the better the employees will perform inline with the organizational goals. Alongside, the aspiration stands for what the organization will do and increases the moral and motivation of the employees.
The internal brand management has been taking on a rather sub-ordinal position within the organization for a long time. As its importance is beginning to increase, many companies realize that its management has to be improved in order to more efficiently make use of its potential. A key shift is diversifying its field of application by distributing the ownership and responsibility of the brand throughout the entire organization. The marketing department cannot take on the sole responsibility for managing the entire brand. The company must make sure that the brand and its values are brought into every single department and should ensure that all necessary initiatives are applied to achieve the brand’s long term ambition and goals. The brand has to be managed and controlled consistently and its mission, vision and identity have to be clearly defined and stated. Just like the customer builds up an image of the product and the brand, the employee builds up a similar internal image of the company. This image will be present in the employees mind and will have a strong impact on the way the employees will follow their duties during work. Consequently, the way the brand is marketed within the company will determine how the brand is conceived and will have an impact on the way it will be brought to the public and eventually the customer.
The internal management of a brand must therefore be seen as a crucial element in successfully delivering the brand values to the employee and consequently improving the organizational behavior and image that an employer radiates to current and potential employees.
When considering the impacts that a brand has on the organization its has to be clear that the effects are directed at the employees and their behaviors, in particular at the organizational behavior. The organizational behavior interprets the relationship between the company and the people that work for it and how these act together in a social system.
The concept of organizational behavior is a very broad field and can be categorized into many different aspects. When regarding the effects that a brand has on the internal market of an organization it is better to focus on its key elements. These consist of the social system, the corporate culture, the organizational development and the quality of work life. The social system encompasses the interaction of all human relationships. In a company it includes all the people in it and how these interact with fellow co-workers or people from the outside. These interactions have direct or indirect influences on the behaviors of others. The corporate culture comprises the attitudes, beliefs, customs, knowledge and values of a company. These are shared by people and groups within the organization and influence the way they interact with each other. Employees depend on this culture because it gives them a feeling of security, understanding of their value, and stability. The organizational development can be seen as a systematic approach to change. Its primary objective is to create a higher quality of work life, productivity and adaptability. By changing attitudes, values and structures within the organization it can help the company adapt better to changes in the environment. The quality of work life is an element of organizational behavior that is meant to develop and improve job and working conditions for both the employee and employer.
All these elements of organizational behavior are directly influenced by the strategies and leadership styles of the company’s management. It is crucial therefore that when applying the attributes of the brand internally that these aspects of behavior have to be treated and targeted in a proper manner.
Apart from the brand’s impacts on the internal stakeholders it also has taken on an important role in the acquisition of new employees. Constructing and building up a brand that is not only directed at the customer or existing employees but to potential human resources is a concept that has evolved in the late nineties. As a result of the shortage of talented and qualified personnel many companies had to find a way to position themselves as a unique employer within the market. Just like creating the consumer brand the employer brand was created by a marketing strategy which was meant to establish a positive image of the employer within the labor market. The primary objective was to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of staff recruitment as well as to increase the quality of applicants in the long run. At present, numerous companies spend much on attracting the previously mentioned highly trained professionals by offering far more than gainful employment and flexible working conditions. Daycare facilities, company trips and even in-house gyms are commonplace within a growing number of companies dependant on rare high-potentials.
The concept of employer branding must not be solely understood as a method to recruit employees. Its effects go far beyond recruiting practices and have impacts on the entire organization. Employer branding must be seen as a brand-based internal development and external positioning strategy of a company as an employer. As a result it should display the company as being an attractive employer and should differentiate this employer from others in the labor market. Its development and implementation is meant to optimize the recruitment of potential employees, increase employee loyalty and provide an overall positive culture within the company. This will subsequently have a positive impact on the company and can increase the company- and brand value in the long run. It goes beyond creating a positive reputation of the company since its reputation does not necessarily show its strengths. For a successful relationship between an employer and employee the organization’s branding message has to be in line with the expectations of the prospective employee. Attracting and retaining talents relies on fulfilling the brand’s promise which heavily depends on the culture, mission and values that the organization stands for. In order to successfully create an employer brand the company must focus on defining and managing the brand internally and must translate the core values and beliefs into establishing an attractive surrounding for recruiting potential employees and for a positive and prolific employer - employee relationship.
When regarding the topic of internal brand management, the fields of organizational behavior and employer branding are usually not seen as a logical link towards the subject matter. Especially, the interrelation of these two topics and their integrative position within this thesis can be considered as a unique approach towards corporate branding. It is therefore of importance to explain why the author chose to state these specific fields within the context of internal brand management.
The role of the internal stakeholder of a company, and in particular the employee, must be regarded as the crucial element when considering and evaluating organizational performance. Satisfying and motivating these stakeholders directly results in increased engagement. According to the author, an organization can consider itself as being successful when it is able to actively engage its employees in its decision making processes. Engagement is based on the concepts of identity and emotional belonging, both manifested in the overall behavior of employees amongst each other and within their organizational setting. As a result of this commitment towards the company, the presentation towards the public is positive. Employees no longer consider material rewards as the most important aspect when choosing a job but rather evaluate an organization according to its working environment. Recruiting measures and employer attractiveness are a direct result of positive organizational behavior.
Employee engagement and employer attractiveness are reliant on a clear strategy and focus of the organization. The brand, which has already proven itself as an influential tool in convincing the consumer, can also be directed towards the inside of a company and can be used in convincing the employee. The corporate brand sets the tone of the actions within the organization and acts as a cardinal tool in creating a positive organizational behavior and therefore a positive reputation towards the outside.
Corporate brand management has an impact on organizational behavior and employer branding practices within a company and directly influences organizational performance.
How does internal brand management have an impact on the overall organizational behavior?
How does the management of a brand within the company influence the image and position of an employer within the external labor force market?
As already mentioned in the introductory part of this paper, much focus has so far been put on the external influences a brand has on the customer and other external stakeholders. The impacts that the values and visions a brand displays to the internal market of a company is a subject that has not been as elaborated on and will be the primary focus of this paper. These effects will be limited and discussed in connection with the concepts of employer branding and organizational behavior.
The purpose of the research is to prove that effective corporate brand management not only acts as an external marketing function but also guides and drives internal organizational structures and culture. This demonstrates the virtues and values a brand promises to the external market can also be used as a form of guidance and orientation within a company. Essentially, it is to show that only by effectively combining and managing both the external and internal goals of corporate branding a company will be able to strengthen its market position and increase its equity. The effects that efficient corporate brand management has on a company should also have an impact on the organizational culture, the satisfaction of employees and on the attractiveness of the employer in the labor market. This subsequently resolves in a higher staff output and productivity and again increases overall profit. This argument can have implications on managerial decisions that companies must make in order to be competitive both in the customer and workforce market. Companies must consider integrating human resource management with the management of corporate brands to effectively make use of the value and energy a brand expresses for external and internal decision making processes.
In order to get a better overview of the research structure it is essential to provide a brief general outline of the paper.
The first part introduced and explained the various thesis topics and briefly explained each concept in connection with the general thesis topic of internal brand management.
The second part presents the research methodology and gives an insight on what research methods and approaches have been used.
The third part of the paper discusses the concept of internal brand management in greater detail and explains the various components of the subject. This part can be seen as the core component of the paper since it describes in great detail the impacts that internal brand management has on organizational behavior and employer branding. These two sub-components of the research will be analyzed and put into content with the general topic.
The fourth chapter concludes the overall topic and states recommendations and insights of the author towards the subject.
The following Chapter is concerned with the description and justification of the methodology used to carry out the research of the paper. It also states what data has been collected and interpreted.
For the researcher it is important to make a rational choice on what research methods and strategies best fit to support and underline the research study and statements. Alongside, it is significant to chose what data collection method must be used in order to acquire constructive information.
Depending on the research field and topic, a classification of the research type can be made. These can be differentiated between exploratory, descriptive, explanatory and predictive. Since the discussed topic has not been examined very intensively the author decided to use the exploratory approach.
When conducting a research the investigator has to decide between a qualitative or quantitative method. This research has used the qualitative approach since ‘the qualitative research is an approach to research that uses a variety of methods and involves an interpretive approach to whatever the focus of the study’.
Secondary data is collected and possibly processed by people other than the researcher in question. Examples of such data are books, articles, journals, studies or statistics. In this particular case the author read literature concerning internal brand management, internal marketing, organizational behavior, employer branding and corporate identity. These were retrieved from various online sources such as The Journal of Brand Management  or Brandchannel  and various other journals as well as brand related books and newspaper/magazine articles. Additionally, information was retrieved from the Library of the International University of Applied Sciences in Bad Honnef. Databases, such as EBSCO (Business Source Premier), were also used to look for relevant articles concerned with internal brand management. Key words used in the search are listed above.
The researcher has decided to primarily rely on and make use of existing secondary research and interpret the findings with the help of existing examples and findings of brand managers.
A limitation of this research is the fact that solely secondary data was used to formulate the findings and support the statements of the author. The division of the topic into two elements, organizational behavior and employer branding, and locating these under the concept of corporate branding is a new approach. Both topics have been discussed as separate entities and are both widely discussed in existing literature. The interrelation of these elements implies a methodical analysis and cannot constructively be enlarged upon by primary data. The application of primary data could have been used to underline key statements in each sub-topic but could not have gainfully supported the theoretical framework of interrelating these topics and putting them into context with corporate branding.
Growing pressures and demands on companies in the Western world have been responded by emphasizing the corporate management. As markets continue to mature and competition rises, many companies will not succeed solely on the basis of what products or services they offer. Even though these functions are still crucial, other aspects such as corporate identity or culture and the presentation of the company towards its internal stakeholders are beginning to influence a company’s ability to compete. The meaning of who the company is and what it stands for is positioned parallel to what the company actually does. The identity, and therefore the brand of a company is beginning to take on a vital role within the organization. The effective integration and alignment of branding practices as well as human resource and marketing principles within the organization are fundamental for the success of a business in the 21st century.
The following chapter will give a detailed insight into the field of internal branding and will show in how far the above mentioned concepts have an impact on internal decision-making and behavior of an organization.
Before going further into detail on what specific impacts a brand has on the organizational behavior or on the recruiting practices of a company it is essential to know why a brand, and that what it stands for, should be internalized and transported to the inside.
As already mentioned in the introductory chapter of this thesis, the brand not only stimulates the customer to buy a certain product but also acts as guidance for employees to act according to specific organizational values. This implements that the brand should not be merely seen as a badge or symbol. The design of a symbol can help a company to differentiate itself from the competition, but the symbol is not the brand. The truth is that the brand exists in the minds of stakeholders, and they, rather than the company, determine the nature of the brand relationship. A key stakeholder is the employee since it is him or her who stands at the sender’s side and delivers the brand values to the potential customer. The power of a brand lies in giving employees the freedom to use their imaginations within the constraints set by the organization’s values (p. 19) Creating and internalizing such an environment and transforming these values of a brand to the core of the employee are vital steps in the success of a company.
A brand brings along a certain promise which the company makes to the customer. This promise can be defined as high quality or a high level of satisfaction and must be implicit in a brand. Whether this promise is delivered or not defines the evolving relationship with the brand. It comes down to the interaction – whether with the product or the people, that confirm the idea about the brand and its relationship.
Basically, it comes down to the employee, a company’s most tenuous and vulnerable asset. Whether a company can position its corporate brand successfully remains dependent on the employee’s behavior and ability in delivering the core values of the brand. The objective of an organization is to ensure that employees transform espoused brand messages into brand reality for customers and other stakeholders. As soon as these brand values are internalized by the employee, they will consistently be delivered across all contact points between a company and its stakeholders. The management of such a delivery of the brand, the internal brand management, is therefore in charge of translating the brand idea to the overall formulation of identity and image. The identity of a company stands for who they are – pointing out the relevance of organizational behavior. The image represents what the company wants to strive for – stressing the relevance towards other stakeholders and potential employees and how the brand as such can help support its image in the labor market (employer branding). To get a better overview of how these constructs are intertwined, the following graphic shows a brand model developed by a senior adviser at Accenture  .
Figure 1 – The Brand Model
illustration not visible in this excerpt
(Source: Ind, 2004 p.96)
To get a better comprehension of how this model is to be understood, the following comments have to be made: The identity of an organization is transmitted by the ‘brand idea’, which is the articulation of the company’s unique attribute. This idea is communicated through marketing communications, employee’s interpretations of identity and by the products and services. All these stress the importance of integrating employees into the brand statement since all of these aspects are either made by or created by employees.
The converted idea is then used to create a proper image towards all relevant stakeholders and future employees. This helps the company to position itself within the market and to create a proper brand reputation.
All these components are interlinked with one another since the entire internal brand concept of a company is built on feedback and exchange of information between the employee, the organization, the brand and the customer.
To summarize what has so far been said about internalizing the brand: In order to successfully establish a brand in the external market, a company must first convince its internal stakeholders of the brand and its values and integrate it into the processes of every layer of the organization. The key lies in aligning all internal processes with those of the brand and this can only be done by involving the employees into the entire brand building procedure. To successfully implement an internal branding campaign, the concepts of corporate marketing and internal communications play an integral and important role. These concepts will be discussed in greater detail in the following chapters.
In order to successfully manage a brand internally, a company must broaden its perspective and consider its employees as internal customers. As with external customers, employee’s needs and desires have to be satisfied and they have to be convinced of the product or brand just as much. The logic behind seeing employees as internal customers is that by satisfying the needs of these company-internal customers, a company should be in a better position to deliver the quality desired to satisfy external customers. In this context the concept of internal, or corporate, marketing has been introduced since it is seen as the best method for communicating the brand within the organization. Since its first introduction 20 years ago, corporate marketing has been proposed as a solution to the problem of delivering consistently high quality of service. Nowadays the concept is seen as a strategic tool for meeting and exceeding customer’s expectations and is considered as a precondition for profitable interactions in the marketplace. When considering these terms in an intra-organizational context, the term ‘internal marketing’ must be seen as an integrated approach and should alternatively be considered as ‘internal relationship marketing’ or ‘internal social process management’. When addressing internal customers the view must shift away from products to corporations and employees and must distance itself from traditional marketing concepts. Balmer states that ‘ marketing at the corporate level requires a radical reappraisal in terms of its philosophy, content, management and process’. A more strategic and institution-wide view is necessary and various components of management, marketing and human resources have to be integrated for it to succeed. In overall terms, internal branding is about cultural change and therefore is reliant on an effective integration and alignment of marketing and HR principles and practice within the organization11.
The importance of using internal marketing to ‘ignite’ the corporate brand has increased, especially in service-intensive industries such as the hotel- or banking sector. The value of satisfied employees must be seen as a fundamental part in achieving customer value. As the philosophy of Ritz Carlton, a chain of luxury hotels, already states: ‘to take care of customers, you must first take care of those who take care of customers’. High service value can only be delivered by satisfied employees, who in return create satisfied customers. Employees must therefore not only be involved in conveying the corporate brand but also in building it. A successful internal marketing approach can therefore motivate employees and boost interactive marketing and corporate branding.
In summary, companies must treat employees as a key audience. Internal marketing must be regarded as a basis for creating a strong internal brand. What it comes down to, eventually, is to enhance employee performance in order to establish a better position within the market and create higher revenues and greater return of investments. Corporations must move beyond the traditional marketing mix of ‘ four Ps’ and include other elements such as philosophy, personality and most importantly people.
In order to engage employees in such concepts a clear communication of company values and ideals must be brought across. This brings us to another crucial element within the entire internal branding, the concept of internal communications.
Due to its rather elaborative nature, the topic of communication seems to leave people feeling confused since it somehow relates to everything. People tend to minimize the scope of communications to basic PR functions or media relations in the form of newspaper or other kinds of publications. In terms of organizational communications concepts such as ‘receiver’, ‘sender’, ‘encoder’ etc have a tendency to be examined first. These are important concepts when a company needs to bring across certain policies or rules to its employees. In respect to efficiently communicating the brand it has to go far beyond the presentation and delivery of the substance as such. The brand, and how it should be lived out, requires a certain commitment and enthusiasm and has to permeate the entire organization. In order to communicate this throughout the company it should not be the sole responsibility of a single person or department. It is about getting other departments involved and encouraging employees to understand the brand in their own terms and contribute to its development. The aim is to not just set out a ‘sender’ of the brand and how to engage it but rather to establish the entire communication process to become a participative concept lived out throughout the organization. It is the job of the management, and in particular the originator of the brand, to persuade the company of the value of taking branding seriously. This process of embedding the brand within requires presentations and discussions where the nature and impacts of the brand can be explored.
Although communicating these values is a crucial element within the internal branding process it will not achieve engagement by itself. The values and principles of the brand have to be experienced by the employee. Values will only come to have a meaning once they are experienced by individuals and they discover for themselves how the values are relevant to their day-to-day work (p.126). This requires employees to identify themselves with the brand and implement these values in their actions. The primary purpose is to actively engage every employee across the organization and create synergy effects that maximize intellectual capital and connect separate business units of the company. The following figure illustrates the components necessary for a successful communication that engages employees.
illustration not visible in this excerpt
(Source: Ind, (2004) p.126)
The first component depicts how management must deliver the messages of the brand downwards towards the entire organization. Responsively, employees interact with the information and participate and get involved in the process. This enables a two-way communication between ‘sender’ and ‘receiver’. The final goal should be to actively engage all employees throughout departments and create work synergies.
 Denzin and Lincoln (1994)
 Ind (2004)
 Punjairsri and Wilson (2007)
 Papasolomou and Vrontis (2006)
, 11 Gapp and Merrilees (2006)
 Balmer (2001)
 Ind (2004)
Bachelorarbeit, 63 Seiten
Bachelorarbeit, 87 Seiten
Masterarbeit, 88 Seiten
Masterarbeit, 80 Seiten
Diplomarbeit, 125 Seiten
Diplomarbeit, 95 Seiten
Bachelorarbeit, 123 Seiten
Bachelorarbeit, 67 Seiten
Diplomarbeit, 125 Seiten
Diplomarbeit, 95 Seiten
Bachelorarbeit, 123 Seiten
Bachelorarbeit, 67 Seiten
Der GRIN Verlag hat sich seit 1998 auf die Veröffentlichung akademischer eBooks und Bücher spezialisiert. Der GRIN Verlag steht damit als erstes Unternehmen für User Generated Quality Content. Die Verlagsseiten GRIN.com, Hausarbeiten.de und Diplomarbeiten24 bieten für Hochschullehrer, Absolventen und Studenten die ideale Plattform, wissenschaftliche Texte wie Hausarbeiten, Referate, Bachelorarbeiten, Masterarbeiten, Diplomarbeiten, Dissertationen und wissenschaftliche Aufsätze einem breiten Publikum zu präsentieren.
Kostenfreie Veröffentlichung: Hausarbeit, Bachelorarbeit, Diplomarbeit, Dissertation, Masterarbeit, Interpretation oder Referat jetzt veröffentlichen!