Your brand culture begins with a purpose, one that helps to define who you are and, given enough attention, can spread like wildfire throughout the office. And you should, since an inspired team will work with you to create impactful user experiences and start a social conversation.
Brand culture is, in the words of HR magazine, a “unique blend of psychology, ideas, attitudes, and beliefs informing brand behavior, influencing brand experience, and ultimately shaping brand reputation”; in other words, it’s your company’s narrative as told through the experiences of your team members in the course of their workday. Furthermore, a company with a strong brand culture should expect significant financial rewards.
For one, it helps companies attract – and retain – the best talent while fostering better relationships between colleagues and teams. It also ensures that employees share the company’s vision – an authenticity that will in turn draw customers and secure buy-in. Meanwhile, research testifies to the fact that the most productive employees are happy ones, meaning that a consistent, positive work culture is also a key driver of productivity.
For many HR experts, fostering a strong brand culture is imperative to stand out in today’s hyper-competitive business market. And to stay ahead of the pack, companies should put brand culture at the forefront of their HR strategy, as Bill Taylor, co-founder of US business innovation magazine Fast Company, says.
Benefits of Brand Culture
A company that has a fruitful and well-balanced Brand Culture creates future leaders for the industry as its employees are emotionally and strategically engaged in each and every business operation of the company as they are constantly motivated and rewarded for their endeavors.
A company that fosters a healthy Brand Culture is able to keep and attain the brand promises in a successful manner on the intrinsic and extrinsic levels. On an intrinsic level, the employees are motivationally driven with the due rewards and recognition that help the brand to accomplish the overall business objectives and this results in achieving the extrinsic brand promises to the customers, vendors, investors, sponsors, and other stakeholders by offering the products and services that are high on quality and class the customer service levels that are top-notch and excellent in nature.
The internal operations and workings are highly process-led and driven as the working culture and the overall environment are motivating and fruitful results in the smooth flow of the roles and responsibilities of every staff member and if there is any sort of discrepancy in the operations or amongst the team members or inter-linked departments, the same gets ironed out in a very short span of time as the Brand Culture follows the clear rules and working objectives in a transparent manner that are applicable to one and all right from the top management to the trainees.
The internal staff and employees are highly motivated and inspired to work with the brand and dedicatedly excel in attaining the aims and objectives of the brand which also makes them grow on the professional and personal levels.
A healthy and balanced Brand Culture of the company is visible to the industry and the customers as every brand expression, customer service levels, quality of the products, and customer services offered, stand as a testimony to the same resulting in the brand attracting new customers from the targeted market as well as the untapped ones as the brand is creating its own strong legacy.
In continuation to the above point, a healthy Brand Culture also helps the brand to retain its loyal customers as they are happy and highly satisfied with the offerings of products and services plus they are able to relate their personal values with the core values of the brand. This results in a loyal set of customers endorsing the brand to their friends and family, earning plenty of referrals to the sales department
One of the primal benefits that a brand earns from having a healthy Brand Culture is that the objectives of higher sales and elevated profits are successfully attained with the cash registers ringing for the company.
The brand value and strengths of the company are enhanced and talked about in a positive light by not only the employees and the loyal customer base but also by the industry peers and market veterans.
Ways to Build a Good Brand Culture
On the other hand, if workers aren’t provided with a strong brand culture that they can identify with, they won’t be able to embody the values of their workplace and the firm may experience internal conflicts, unsatisfied clients, or even jeopardize and distort its own reputation.
Similar to the work involved in exterior branding, a strong brand culture is not created overnight. The following are some essential strategies for creating a powerful brand culture at work:
1. Define your brand culture
It’s impossible to build up a strong brand culture without first knowing what it is. Brand culture is effectively how a company’s employees live out the values and mission of its organization. So the first crucial step is to identify the work culture and the values that you want your employees to embody, and to set that out into a clear vision.
Finding that answer will take some soul-searching and an analysis of factors such as your company’s competencies, your customer’s needs and what differentiates you from similar options available out there. Think about it, break it down, and set it out!
2. Flaunt it
Now that you have settled on your brand culture, it’s time to flaunt it. That process starts at the top – ensure that management embodies the values and mission you have set out for your company and exhibits the behavior you expect from your employees.
Visual branding is another way to communicate your brand culture, both inside and out. That’s why consistent visual brand identity is also critical to cultivating a strong brand culture, ensuring your team is clear about your brand’s identity and avoiding any confusion about old and new visions.
Read Also: Social Media Branding
That’s especially the case if redefining your brand culture has also prompted a visual rebrand – a process that often leaves companies with stacks of templates and old presentation decks sporting the old logo and visual elements. Fortunately, exciting new tools can help by automating the time-consuming process of keeping your docs visually compliant.
For example, Templafy’s smart template management tools (particularly Templafy’s ‘Brand Checker’ tool) do the work for you to quickly ensure that your internal content, from templates to presentation decks, is on-brand, integrating across multiple devices so that your business communications are on-brand and up to date.
Social media also makes it easier for your employees to actively share their thoughts and feelings about your brand. Encouraging your employees to be active on social media in a professional context will help boost your online brand awareness and promote your brand culture online.
Arm your team with the tools to be active online ambassadors of your brand: supply them with relevant graphics and brand logos for the content they might share, or place social sharing buttons on your website pages so that they can easily share on their personal profiles.
3. Encouragement fosters engagement
Achieving a strong brand culture is not a static thing: a workplace culture is dynamic and must be consistently cultivated within your organization. Now that you’ve defined your brand culture, reflected it in your visual branding, and ensured that management conduct aligns with your vision – it’s time to actively encourage your employees to engage with your brand culture.
One way is to recognize and reward your employees when they ‘live the brand’ both within the workplace and when interacting with clients and stakeholders. Meanwhile, employees are more likely to connect to your workplace culture if they understand why it matters to them – so make sure you take the time to explain why your brand culture is important and how it affects them.
4. Hire the employees that embody the values and traits of the brand
As the saying goes, like minds think alike; and the same works as the next step to build a good Brand Culture in the organization. It is the duty of management and the HR department to hire employees whose goals and values are aligned with the core values and objectives of the brand as then only the hired candidate will be able to offer his expertise and services in a dedicated manner resulting in the company sustaining the cultivated Brand Culture and accomplish the desired goals and objectives.
5. Reward and Recognize
The thumb rule of marketing and branding states that the internal employees of the company are its very first and crucial brand ambassadors as if they are happy and satisfied with the working environment and the pay packages earned, they will endorse the same within their social circle that will enhance the value of the brand. Hence, it is important to recognize and reward the significant work goals accomplished by the employees to keep them motivated.
6. Work on the brand elements
The next step in building a good Brand Culture involves working on the brand elements right from the logo, tagline, and Pantone shades that are specific to the brand, typeface, language, and tonality. Corporate and brand guidelines need to be formulated and documented guiding the marketing department, branding department, design agencies, and other vendors at every step of marketing and promotional activities.
7. Stick to the brand promise
It is imperative for the brand to stick to the brand promise that will not only help build a good Brand Culture but also help to retain a loyal set of customers and simultaneously attract new ones.
What is The Goal of Brand Culture?
A brand’s culture is its individuality. The distinctive personality is what establishes the brand’s identity and public perception. Consistent values, beliefs, and behaviors exhibited by staff members, executives, and leadership team members provide the foundation of a successful brand culture. It is not only about how happy the workers are; it’s also about what it means for the brand’s output and productivity.
The goal of brand culture is to establish a way of life that provides an environment for the leadership team and employees to thrive within their roles. If the brand culture is aligned with the core brand and its values, it instills belief in the team, leadership team, and employees. This belief is reflected in the output and productivity of the brand, ultimately feeding into the bottom line.
A strong brand culture provides fulfillment to employees, which ultimately affects everything within the brand, including productivity, loyalty, and satisfaction. A study by Columbia University showed that companies with a rich culture had a turnover of 13.9% whereas companies without had a turnover right up to 48% and the reason for this was happiness in the workplace. Happier employees are shown to be more productive by up to 12% and this has a massive effect on profits.
A strong brand culture built on a well-defined internal brand can help employees feel like what they do matters and that there is a purpose to it. When people feel like what they do matters, they are more likely to share that with not only customers but friends, family, and on social media. By developing a strong brand culture, you can actually create an army of brand advocates who are there to promote your brand whenever they can.
Brand culture also improves your identity by helping you establish something in your audience’s mind. The more your internal team embodies your brand culture, values, and what you believe in, the more creative they will be. A well-defined culture and internal brand allow your team to innovate, and give them license to be far more independent and autonomous while staying on brand.
Whether this is expressed through client sales, marketing, operations or work in the community, it will all go towards developing your brand. A strong brand culture built on a defined internal brand acts like a rudder for that company and allows you to focus exactly on what it is that you need to be trying to achieve and that improves efficiency.
A brand is just a group of people assembled together. Building a strong brand culture is essential to making sure that all of the brand’s employees have faith in the work they’re doing, which in turn influences production and productivity. For the benefit of all parties—employees and consumers alike—it is critical to have a solid brand culture that is consistent with the brand’s values and objectives.
Your staff will feel more motivated and that their work counts if it is supported by a strong internal brand and brand culture. It can produce hordes of brand ambassadors who will do everything it takes to advance your company’s reputation. It can also unite and unify your company by having shared beliefs, goals, values, rituals, and habits that develop your company culture.
Remember, a brand is a living entity that evolves over time. A strong brand culture is the key to ensuring that your brand evolves in the right direction.