Company culture is often associated with the general vibe people feel when they come to work. It’s the personal relationships and trust between colleagues, regardless of where they live on an organizational chart. But it’s also something else: the most successful organizations make culture a foundation of their brands. When there’s a culture that aligns a workforce behind a mission, the brand can becomes a true force.
Denise Lee Yohn, author of Fusion: How Integrating Brand and Culture Powers the World’s Greatest Companies put it this way: “Your culture and brand can't be separate. Many culture-building tactics might fall under the purview of HR and marketing may spearhead many brand-building activities, but if you don't develop a mutually reinforcing, interdependent relationship between culture and brand, you miss the opportunity to unleash their combined power and you put your business at risk.”
1. Partnership opportunities reveal themselves.
A commitment to integrating your organization in the community is a common and admirable cultural pillar. Look no further than your friends here at LoSasso as an example. In 2017, we hosted a community holiday party—as part of our holiday video production—with food, Santa, drinks, live music and LOTS of lights. The fun, welcoming feeling that one night spurred multiple relationships with like-minded businesses in our Ravenswood neighborhood.
Our holiday video is just one tool we use to showcase our culture and people to the world—who we are, not just what we do. It’s even played a key role in a long-term client deciding we were the team they wanted partner with. A willingness to put the spotlight on your people and values helps show that your brand is much more than just a business.
2. You have stories worth telling.
News organizations love uplifting human-interest stories that emerge from a strong culture—charitable efforts, inventive ways of structuring the workday, celebrations of success. In today’s political and social media climate, journalists also have great incentive to expose patterns, even incidents, of bad behavior. A strong culture works to address both these risks and opportunities. By promoting good works, and hosting creative events you can earn positive coverage, while a unified and respectful workforce makes for a happy, healthy and safe place to work.
3. An army of ambassadors organizes organically.
A culture that’s gratifying and rewarding attracts and develops an effective team of people who will be willing to spread the good word about your brand. They’ll wear your gear, tell their friends what a great place it is to work and recommend your products or services.
A positive culture also attracts and retains great talent—and increasingly so. Culture is important to Millennials. Fidelity found that a “better quality of work life is worth a $7,600 pay cut” to Millennials.
We’ve seen the effect of culture on recruiting firsthand. We place our fun and team-focused culture front and center—especially our office dogs—and when we ask interviewees what attracted them to us, the answer is almost always related to the impression they got of our culture from the website experience, social media and content.
4. Customer experience becomes more consistent.
When employees have clarity on the organization’s aims, strengths and weaknesses, everyone wins. If a culture built around core values, traditions and goals is entrenched, customers will enjoy a more consistent and predictable experience with your brand.
5. The snowball effect takes hold.
When marketing and culture efforts are both forward looking, constantly seeking opportunities for progress, they begin to feed off of each other—and it’s reflected in the brand. A culture that emphasizes individual learning, teamwork and exploration paired with marketers that stay on top of the latest martech and customer behavior are powerful together. It’s unavoidably reflected in brand and the brand is unavoidably perceived positively.
When thinking about your own brand, is your culture in alignment or in contradiction of what you represent? Or is there a need to hit the reset button and re-coordinate. As marketers, it’s important for us to be particularly dialed into our organizational and personal brands. LoSasso takes pride in our culture, and the rich, family-vibes that pulse through our walls each day is reflective of our work ethic and brand.