In today’s business landscape, most companies don’t just sell products or services; they sell a brand and its values. A brand culture encompasses the values, beliefs, and behaviors that a company embodies and promotes. It can have a significant impact on a company’s success.
In this article, we explore the concept of brand culture, provide examples of companies that have successfully created a brand culture, examine the benefits and risks of brand culture, and outline steps that companies can take to create their own brand culture.
What’s behind brand culture?
Brand culture is the set of values and beliefs that define a company’s identity and guide its behavior, and is completely aligned with the brand. It’s a way of establishing the company’s purpose and mission to its customers, employees, and stakeholders.
A company’s brand culture can be communicated through a variety of channels, including advertising, marketing, social media, business correspondence, and employee communications. It’s important that the message and its presentation be consistent across all of these channels. Inconsistency erodes trust and undermines the brand culture.
Examples of companies with strong brand cultures
Several companies are known for their strong brand cultures.
One such company is Zappos, the online shoe retailer. Zappos is renowned for its customer service and employee-centric culture. The company encourages its employees to express their individuality, and its “no job titles” policy allows employees to take on a variety of roles within the company. Zappos emphasizes the importance of company culture in its hiring process, and it offers employees a variety of perks, like free lunches and a nap room.
Another example is Patagonia, the outdoor clothing and gear company. Patagonia is famous for its commitment to sustainability and environmentalism. The company’s mission statement is “We’re in business to save our home planet.” It’s taken a number of steps to reduce its environmental impact, such as using recycled materials in its products and donating 1% of its sales to environmental causes. Patagonia’s brand culture is embodied by its employees who are encouraged to take time off to pursue environmental causes, and its customers who are drawn to the company’s environmental ethos.
Benefits and risks of brand culture
The benefits of a strong brand culture are many. First and foremost, a strong brand culture sets a company apart from its competitors.
It also creates a sense of community and purpose among employees, leading to higher job satisfaction, better retention rates, and a more motivated and productive workforce.
A strong brand culture builds customer loyalty and establishes trust. Customers are more likely to remain loyal to a brand that shares their values and demonstrates its commitment to those values through its actions. This creates a sense of authenticity and credibility that customers are drawn to.
However, there are also risks associated with brand culture. One risk is that a company’s brand culture can become too insular, leading to groupthink and a lack of diversity of thought. Additionally, if a company’s brand culture isn’t backed up by actions, that can lead to cynicism and distrust among employees and customers.
7 steps to create your own brand culture
Creating a brand culture takes time and effort, but the benefits can be significant. Here are some w for companies to take to create their own brand culture:
1. Define your brand values. The first step in creating a brand culture is to define the values that your company embodies. These values should be clear, concise, and aligned with your company's mission and purpose.
2. Communicate your brand values. Once you've defined your brand values, communicate them to your employees and customers. You can do this through a variety of channels, including your website, social media, and employee communications. Visual branding is an important way to communicate your brand culture, both inside and out. A consistent visual brand identity is critical to cultivating a strong brand culture. Make sure your team is clear on the visual brand identity and empower them to easily implement it in a consistent and brand-compliant manner.
3. Lead by example. Your company's leaders should embody the values that you've defined. They should demonstrate these values in their actions and behaviors, and hold themselves and their employees accountable for upholding the values of the brand culture.
4. Hire for fit. When hiring new employees, look for individuals who align with your company's values and culture. Questions about values and culture in the interview process help identify candidates who demonstrate commitment to the values that are important to your company.
5. Empower employees. To create and maintain a strong brand culture, empower employees to make decisions and take ownership of their work. This can be done by providing training, development opportunities, and content enablement software, as well as by creating a culture of trust and openness.
6. Take action. A brand culture is only effective if it's backed up by actions. Take steps to demonstrate your company's commitment to it's values, whether that means implementing sustainable practices, giving back to the community, or investing in employee development.
7. Measure and evaluate. Finally, it's important to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of your brand culture over time. Surveys, focus groups, and other feedback mechanisms will help you identify areas for improvement and opportunities for growth.
Brand culture differentiates companies in a crowded market
In today’s competitive business environment, a strong brand culture is a powerful differentiator. By defining your company’s values, consistently communicating them to your employees and customers, and backing them up with actions, you create a brand culture that sets your company apart, builds customer loyalty, and creates a sense of community and purpose among your employees. While building a strong brand culture takes time and effort, the benefits can be significant, both for your company’s bottom line and for the satisfaction and engagement of your employees.
If you want to learn more about a software solution that helps you quickly and easily translate your visual brand identity into documents and presentations, contact us!
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