“A strong brand isn’t measured by its image, but through the actions of the employees. They should be delivering the brand’s promise and strengthening the brand image.”
What is Company Culture and Why is it Important?
It’s easy to think company culture is to do with putting a ping pong table in the staff room, having a free gym membership or ordering pizza for everybody, but these are employee perks. There is a lot more to company culture than employee perks.
Simply put, company culture is the personality of a company, the environment in which the employees work, the company mission and values. With a strong company culture your employees will be able to thrive and work to their best. Your employees are your most powerful brand advocates so it’s worth investing in them.
What Does Company Culture Have to do With Brand Building?
You may think of brand and your culture as two separate entities; one being the external view and one being internal. However, when these two aren’t aligned and working in harmony, it will always be harder to connect with your customers.
In today’s world, companies that show complete transparency and authenticity are the ones leading the way with customer satisfaction. Companies can no longer create a brand image just for show. Customers will see through this, feel as if they have been lied to, and take their business elsewhere.
By separating the two, you could be missing the opportunity to unleash their combined power. Branding and culture go hand in hand with each other to strengthen the company.
Build your Brand from The Inside Out
Is your brand a presence that’s clear in your company’s everyday culture? Or is it just an image that’s there simply to present to the outside world?
As well as authenticity, building a brand image based on how you and your staff operate is far easier, than trying to mould people to fit an idea.
If your company culture is already apparent and rooted into your employees, it doesn’t make sense to change it in order to achieve brand-culture fusion (an approach that establishes a critical link between employees and customers). Not only will this be hard to do, but customers will be able to tell that it’s forced.
Leveraging your existing culture to define your brand is a much easier task then trying to change an authentic culture to fit your desired brand.
But obviously this isn’t always applicable. If you don’t have a clear company culture, you can create some core values to implement to strengthen your culture and brand.
Creating Brand Values to Strengthen your Brand and Company Culture
Having brand values in order to create your company culture is more than just writing them and hoping for the best. There are a few steps to help you implement these into everyday practice.
- Define Your Brand Values
It’s all well and good having values that sound amazing, but often little thought is given to actually developing the correct values for your company. Brands that take the time to properly develop their values that live up to their brand promises will see better employee and customer satisfaction.
- Implement your Values into All Aspects of your Business Operations
Now you have really strong brand values, don’t just email them to your employees or stick them on the wall and think that’s the job done. Your values should be implemented as part of every business process, as well as being included as part of every job description and every employee’s performance plan going forward.
- Educate your Employees
So, you know it’s not as easy as just sending out an email with your new core values on, but it’s also not as simple and just adding them to job descriptions and performance plans either. You need to make sure your employees really understand them; why each one exists and what they mean to them personally. Training should be given on how they can integrate the values into their everyday jobs.
- Include Them in your Hiring Process
Making sure each new employee will fit with your culture and core values make much more sense than employing people you know will have problems adjusting to them. Investing time into the interviewing process will help identify who will or will not excel in your company’s environment resulting in strengthening the culture and the brand.
A strong brand isn’t measured by its image, but through the actions of the employees. They should be delivering the brand’s promise and strengthening the brand image.
Customers have the ability to sense if there is a disconnect between how you say your company operates and how you actually do. If they think you are being inauthentic, they could feel they are being lied to and end up taking their business elsewhere.
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