Strong Cultures, Great Brands, Better Businesses
Updated: Mar 1
Everything your company does from the inside out can build belief, love and loyalty. But are your employees capable of delivering on your brand story, promises and values? Do their beliefs and behaviors match your actions and communications outside? And are they motivated to do so?
True brand building requires an internal brand culture developed, designed, nurtured and aligned with business and marketing goals. It’s the unique way that your organization lives out its company purpose and delivers on its promises to customers. It’s the way you attract highly talented employees and equip and inspire them to be brand ambassadors. And time and again, it’s been shown that employees and teams who most align with their company culture consistently perform higher on internal performance metrics than those who least align.
Every aspect of your brand should be expressed through employee behaviors. Particularly in B2B companies, where people are part and parcel of the brand experience, it’s about empowering employees to understand, communicate and live the brand. And here’s where culture really takes the lead: brand behaviors need to align with how a company makes decisions, incentivizes employees and deals with clients.
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The State of Culture
Gallup research found that most organizations lag behind in internally communicating, socializing or differentiating their company brand. Across all industries, their research revealed that:
only 41% of employees strongly agree that they know what their company stands for and what makes it different from competitors.
Less than half of U.S. employees -- four in 10 -- strongly agree that the mission or purpose of their company makes them feel their job is important.
Only 26% of U.S. workers believe their organization always delivers on the promises it makes to customers.
In contrast, awareness of brand distinctiveness increases to 65% among employees who rate their team's performance as excellent.
Brand-Building From The Inside Out
.You can’t be special, distinctive, and compelling in the marketplace unless you create something special, distinctive, and compelling in the workplace. How does your brand shape your culture? How does your culture bring your brand to life? Through brand-led culture, the “soul” of your brand is infused throughout your business. At every level and across every touchpoint and interaction, brand culture holds all of your people and processes together, drives them toward shared outcomes, drives ROI and attracts people who care those same beliefs and purpose. For a list of Best Company Cultures, see Comparably’s Annual Best Company Cultures 2022 Report.
Brand-Led Culture Is Company Wide
To mobilize the company internally around one single vision and purpose, executive leadership must realize that branding is no longer the sole province of the marketing department. Companies must build a brand culture that is rooted in the heart of the organization and radiates outward as a natural set of actions based on a common ethos and worldview. This kind of brand culture not only unites employees in a common purpose and vision, it attracts consumers and engages them in a deep and meaningful relationship that transcends traditional marketing goals of brand preference and loyalty.
Making It Happen
Culture isn’t always obvious or clearly laid out. It’s the roll-up of all the symbols, rituals, behaviors, and communications that perpetually invite people to join the organization’s brand culture. That motivates them to work in tandem with others, focused on specific goals and expectations and live the “culture” they’re gifting to the outside world.
The most successful organizations don't isolate culture building as a stand-alone initiative. Instead, they develop a culture with the aim of bringing the company purpose to life and creating a brand that uniquely meets customers' needs. Inviting employees to participate in the process.
The Rewards of Brand-Led Culture
Every company has a unique culture. Understanding that culture is vital to successfully branding the organization. When branding is done right, the culture will support the brand. And the brand will strengthen the culture. In turn, this helps companies generate higher margins, drive customer advocacy, attract the right talent and forge key alliances. This creates a virtuous cycle of growth that results in higher shareholder value.
Reach out to discuss opportunities to strengthen your company or organization’s brand-led culture.