In our previous post, we explained how crucial brand was to every other area in any business. We used a famous Apple marketing campaign to highlight our position. That campaign turned a steep sales slump into a massive growth trend. The campaign simply highlighted Apple’s brand values and demonstrated why those values should matter to their customers. This is the power of a well-defined brand. To fully harness this power, your brand needs to be driving every area of your business. Let’s explore what that looks like and how to make it happen.
Building a brand-driven culture is everyone’s responsibility. It’s not enough to charge someone with the task of saturating your company with internal brand understanding. They may have some slight success, but more than likely, they’ll spin their wheels and you will see few results. That’s because brand is something that is better caught than taught. If it’s not recognized in the top-level leaders on down to the interns, it’s not going to take. So we recommend you start your journey to a stronger brand with your core leadership.
Start at the Top
Brand should influence top-level meetings, business strategy sessions and company goals at the highest level. These are the people responsible for providing overall direction and macro-level decisions. The rest of the company will look to them for guidance. So if brand isn’t crucial to higher-level planning and decision making, it won’t be embraced down the line. You may say you value developing a culture around your brand, but the actions of your leadership will be what your employees look to and mimic.
Ultimately, it’s our actions, not our words, that communicate our values. It’s not enough for your leaders to mention branding in their meetings. They need to embody your company values. It should become second nature for them to consider your brand at every level of your business. They should be so well-versed in your brand values and story that they can easily fold them into conversations. In other words, they should be fluent in your brand.
Fluency Promotes Influence
In order to create a brand-driven culture, everyone in your organization needs to become fluent in your brand values and brand story. Once your people begin to reach fluency, your brand will naturally find its way into all kinds of conversations.
Conversations about a logo shift or packaging naturally bring brand to the table, but what about your product development conversations? Does brand have a place in your customer service and marketing department meetings? Do people regularly ask, “does this fit in with our values and story?” If not, then you’re demonstrating that you don’t truly value your brand and that will spread throughout your company.
We make disciples who value what we show we value.
Creating or Shifting Toward a Brand-Driven Culture
So how can you begin to build a culture that values your brand? Without a working relationship with your company we can’t give specific advice, but we can point you in the right direction. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Create events that build up and empower employees to live out your values in their lives and roles.
- Reward people when they intentionally or naturally embody your values.
- Volunteer together on a project that demonstrates and celebrates your values.
- Create mentorships within your company. Have experienced, brand-fluent leaders in your business mentor those who are less fluent. This will raise the floor of the overall brand awareness and appreciation internally.
Likely, it will be some combination of several processes and steps you develop that will lead to your business becoming brand-driven. Depending on the size of your company, this may be a long process. It can take some time to shift established employees into a new way of approaching things. But the payoff is more than worth the investment of time and resources in the long run.
Hire People Who Share Your Brand’s Values
Another way you can begin to create a brand-driven culture is to be more selective with your new hires. You should bring your brand values to the front of your hiring process. Celebrate the kinds of qualities and values your company is striving to embody. This will help job-seekers self-select so that only people who strive to embody those traits apply.
You can bring your brand story and values into the job description and the “about our company” portions of your job postings. If you’re not sure how to go about doing that, look to other strong brands.
- What skills and traits do they list as requirements?
- Why do they value those things?
- How do they talk about the role within their company and its impact on their customers?
- What do they title their position?
- How does the role they’re hiring for fit their brand story or mission?
Take your findings and hire a reliable copywriter. They’ll be able to speak to your brand while also enticing candidates who share your values.
Time and Intentionality Will Produce a Brand-Driven Culture
As your brand values and brand story work their way from top to bottom, your brand will become more clearly defined. Your employees in every area will begin to genuinely embody your brand values. And your customers will begin to notice how consistent and cohesive your brand is. Their confidence in you will grow. As their confidence grows, they will trust you and will be much more likely to purchase from you in the future. People always prefer to work with brands they know they can trust.
The power of a strong brand can’t be overvalued. A truly remarkable brand, built by truly remarkable people, amplifies the effectiveness of every other part of a business. We’re on a mission to bring this power to the world. In addition to our newsletter, regular content, brand workshops, video content, and regular branding/rebranding work, we’re writing a book. If you found this content to be helpful, consider signing up for our book mailer list. We’ll be sending subscribers exclusive behind-the-scenes content as our founders drill into our core beliefs about brand.