Company Culture and Brand
The short answer is yes but continue reading to find out why.
There is a symbiotic relationship here that steers stakeholders, employees, partners and customers back on track when they get derailed. It’s important to understand that your brand should be representative of your company culture and ethos. Your brand is directly led by your company culture. So if you are going through or are considering a brand transformation within your company there are a few questions that you might want to consider first.
What works and makes you unique?
We have countless stories from a variety of industries were we have asked this question and the answer often needs to be gently engineered through a series of questions, similar to carving a diamond out of a rock. Lets take a recent example, A Wealth Management company that had requested a brand review with us. The needed a powerhouse of a brand to be able to compete with the industry giants.
We conducted a number of online surveys, held stakeholder interviews, discovery workshops and had many one to one interviews. There was a common phrase and sentiment captured throughout the process and that was that the company’s culture was unique in the competitive wealth management space. Taking into consideration their size and niche within the industry, the feedback was that they offered fantastic internal opportunities, training and really invested in their staff. This meant that they had a growing team of happy, positive and hardworking employees that believed in the company and were genuinely happy to come to work each day. They bucked the industry trend in terms of staff turnover and loyalty. They were by many measures a close family of employees. We identified that this company’s culture was indeed its differential factor and we would transform this into its brands foundational principals. The message was clear, their cultural attributes made them a partner of choice in comparison to the industry giants, by partnering with them you were valued as a client and would have a dedicated team by your side and you would never got lost in translation. Interestingly the company’s diversity is what united them. They had multiple teams in various countries that were not necessarily in contact with one and other but had a shared belief in the company’s values. General feedback from clients supported this brand claim that “People invest in People.”
In this instance what worked and made this company unique was its culture. Our task was to ensure that all stakeholders really did understand the company’s culture and from that we launched a refresh of the company’s external brand.
What is your company’s purpose?
Your purpose can be defined as many things but it should be the reason why your company exists. Your brand’s purpose is the definition that your extended audience will use to describe you to others. Our research revealed that the Wealth Management company’s purpose was to support its professional family and empower advancement for its employees. Identifying its purpose reinforced its brand message and carved out the very definition of its culture.
What does not work and is holding you back?
It’s not all sunshine and roses, there are always challenges and areas for improvement in every company. A brand is no exception and your culture should be watched over and nurtured as it is the essence of who you company is. Our research revealed that there were some short fallings in customer service that needed to be addressed. With success and expansion comes many tasks, some of which can slip through the cracks and become siloed. Some clients felt that customer service was failing them and that with growth there appeared to be less flexibility. Further research revealed that acquisitions had less rigorous on-boarding processes and had become product focused rather than people focused – which is the essence of the company’s culture. The solution was a set of internal brand and communication guidelines that were to be completed by all employees as part of the on-boarding process, followed up with customer initiation training. The focus of training and investment in each employee brought the company’s siloed customers back into the circle. Once brand and culture were aligned then all was well.
What we learned here is that culture can be a grounding force for your brand but it can also be a roadblock that can have a huge negative impact on clients perception and actual experience.
Asking yourself these three questions will help you decide if your company culture and brand are aligned.
1. What works and makes you unique?
2. What is your company’s purpose?
3. What does not work and is holding you back?
If you can’t answer these questions it might be time to consider speaking with a brand consultant or marketing agency to take your brand to where it needs to be. We would be happy to have that conversation with you.