5 Steps To Build A Brand Around Culture
Whether you’re a team of five or a thousand-plus organization, your brand is often the most influential sales tool in your arsenal. Having recently gone through a complete rebrand, we’ve experienced first hand the value of developing a business around the culture we breed. It’s the first impression a prospecting client or end user has of your service, product and/or offering. Talking the talk is only half the battle; the real challenge is, does your staff walk it? Here are five steps we used:
1. Write a vision statement for your brand and culture.
Not to be confused with a brand slogan, your vision statement should be brief, to-the-point but open enough to allow for flexibility. Your statement isn’t meant to be a roadmap either but more of an end goal. This statement will influence the expectations and goals of all your organization’s leaders, so make sure they understand it thoroughly. It helps if they’re part of the development process.
2. Empower your champions.
Think of your champions as a megaphone for your brand and culture. These people may not always hold leadership positions but their peers are naturally attracted to them and follow what they say or do; sometimes even more so than a manager. Their mood, attitude and energy affects everyone around them. Listen to their feedback and include them in some strategy sessions. These people may eventually become your future leadership team so flexibility, opportunity and responsibility are the keywords you want to take into account when it comes to empowering your champions.
3. Align your marketing communications message.
A real no brainer here. Make sure your marketing and business development teams support your vision statement and tell the story of your culture. People are far more interested in the human aspect of your organization than you think. One important note here is that your marketing team should not determine your culture, it should be organic and driven by your entire staff. Marketing should only tell the story of your brand culture, so embrace it.
4. Reward successes.
If you are an organization that focuses on detail and precision, reward it through tracking success rates. Find unique ways to reward achievements within your organization without necessarily creating an environment of overbearing analytics. Small gestures can go a long way. A simple lunch out-of-the-office for your team(s) promotes positive sentiment and even provides an opportunity for team building. Get creative with the rewards. Remember, it’s not all about money.
5. Assess your progress.
Try to gather as much feedback from your staff and your outside audience. They will be key indicators whether your brand is represented well by your culture. It’s important to keep an open mind because sometimes you’ll find that others see your brand or culture differently than what you are trying to communicate. Assess your findings and regroup with your visionary team to discuss the next steps. Don’t expect overnight results, it takes time. Do this regularly as this process is all about refinement and adjustment.
If you follow these five steps, you’ll begin to notice a pattern. The common denominator in all of this is people. They drive your culture; represent your brand and are directly responsible for your success.