Building a brand culture for your business is essential these days in a marketing world overloaded with information about companies, their products, and even their employees. Consumers have grown weary of ad campaigns and corny slogans, which can have little to do with the product they're searching for. They seek truth, not some flat, meaningless image or logo. Today's savvy company has a brand culture in place which not only extends to their customer base but links back to the employees of that company.
How does it do this? It starts by throwing out the old advertising clichés and embracing a vision. A company's brand culture goes way beyond the drive to squeeze out that last dollar from the profit margin. It defines the core values and beliefs on which the company is built. Perhaps it seeks to offer a sense of community or drive ecological sustainability. A good brand starts with a company’s mission and it feeds directly into the company culture, which is not only about growing the business, but also about enriching the lives of its customers and employees.
Your mission, brand, and culture should all work together, driving your company forward.
This is not something you undertake alone as a business owner, nor is it just the territory of your marketing team. You need to engage your whole organization, and this starts with recruitment: hiring the right kind of person who fits in well with your business culture. Train current employees to adopt new working practices that consolidate this new company vision. The link to the right can show you a real example of a recruiting campaign used for attracting the best and brightest across the country.
Ensure they understand the benefits your product delivers to your customers and to the community. Job descriptions may in some cases need to be altered so that everyone is contributing wholly to the company’s core values. According to CareerArc, 84% of employees perform additional research before applying for a job - and 40% are more likely to perform research beyond the company website. Information out on your company's culture, as well as your products, need to be up to date and in sync with the job description so you won't attract blind-appliers (unhappy employees that typically apply for jobs blindly).
Through a corporate communications strategy, these values and beliefs need to be fed and continually reinforced to employees so they can understand and embrace the company’s brand culture. Employees need to believe in the brand. They need to be engaged with the brand, and they need to be happy with the brand. Brand culture is as much about your employees as it is about you and your customer base.
HubSpot, a sales and marketing software company, was rated number 7 in Business Insider's Best Places To Work in 2018 according to employees. This Cambridge-based company is well known for their company's culture and how they treat their employees. A customer success manager at HubSpot is quoted in the article saying, "There's a culture here where, no matter your role, if you have something to say, your voice will be heard. The people working here are consistently whip-smart, super hard working and generally fun to be around."
Your most effective brand ambassadors are your employees - and negative reviews can seriously hurt your hiring initiatives. Only 21% of candidates would apply to a 1-star rated company. Only 1 in 3 (34%) would apply to a 2-star company.
Finally, you will need to set up a means of evaluating that a consistent corporate message is getting across, including ways that employees can offer feedback, such as staff meetings and events, or intranet surveys.
Grow your brand culture and in turn, watch your company grow.