The term “company culture” might sound like some HR buzzword, but it’s actually a very important concept for a successful business. Corporate culture represents engagements within the company, which are reinforced by statements that describe it in communications. It is defined by the beliefs and values that guide a company and characterises how it operates.
Company culture is an inherent component of every brand which can have a significant impact on your team’s productivity which influences your overall long-term success. And while company culture isn’t the only part of your brand, it is easily one of the main reasons why staff decide to work for and ultimately stay with a company. So with that in mind, how can you create a company culture that matches your brand?
Define Your Brand
Your brand is a mixture of what you offer consumers and what you stand for in general and it needs to be unique in order for it to be successful. So, the first thing you need to know in order to connect with your audience is to have a solid understanding of who you are as a brand. Mapping out your brand identity will ultimately inform your brand strategy and ensure consistency with your target audience.
Seth Godin, renowned author and speaker has this to say on defining branding early on – “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”
Strong branding will lead to an increased sense of pride with your employees, as well as a clearer presence for your existing and prospective customers. Defining your brand and your brand values will eventually become the most valuable assets your company has.
Make Your Mission Clear
Once you’ve defined your brand, you then need to ascertain what the mission of your company is. Your mission should not only align with your brand, but it should also become a clear vision that each employee can believe in. By developing a laser-focused and non-negotiable mission, your company will be more likely to have higher employee retention, as well as increased revenue thanks to more customer satisfaction.
All too often, a company’s mission is ineffective because it is unclear or uncommittable. In fact, little effort is made by many companies beyond ensuring their company mission exists and looks okay on paper. Your company mission tells everyone what you’re about by energising your customer base and motivating your employees, so it’s imperative that your company operates as though your mission actually matters to you.
Create Your Identity
Utilising your company brand and mission, you can now begin to use your company culture to create your brand identity. This is a visual statement for how your company is presented to the public, which includes everything from design ideas, colour schemes, and taglines or slogans, which exemplify your overall philosophy. It’s important to remember that your identity must accurately and clearly portray everything about your brand.
According to Stefan Kaczmarczyk, the sales director of Crystal Bathrooms, when customers are satisfied with a great service, they will remain loyal to a brand creating higher customer retention.
“Happy customers are more likely to spread positive reviews and refer others. This is the best kind of advertising as people tend to have more trust in reviews from the people they know.”
Educate Your Employees
Because your employees will often have a massive impact on your company culture as your brand’s biggest advocates, it’s super important that you create a vibrant culture that allows them to positively personify your brand. You should never simply assume that your employees will always share the same values as you, so it’s up to you to clarify your branding with them in a way that resonates with them.
Your staff need to integrate the core values of your brand into their daily processes in order to support the vision and mission of your brand. Each employee needs to be fully aware of the company branding beyond knowing it exists. To create the best possible company culture, your team must understand not only why your branding exists, but also what it means to other employees, the public, and the company as a whole.
Hire The Right People
Beyond educating your current employees, hiring new team members who share your company values and fit into your company’s culture is vital when building your brand. That’s because strong company culture is directly affected by employee turnover rate. It’s extremely difficult to build your brand if you are constantly hiring and firing employees, not to mention an expensive waste of time.
Jack Welch, Former Chairman and CEO of General Electric has this to say on hiring the right team – “If you pick the right people and give them the opportunity to spread their wings and put compensation as a carrier behind it, you almost don’t have to manage them.”
While the relationship between employee and employer was once a strictly transactional one, years of social and economic changes have ultimately shifted expectations for many people on both sides. Staff generally want their work to have meaning, whereas companies want people on their team who share their vision, and company culture plays a massive part in these decisions. So the stronger your company culture, the easier it will become to attract the right people initially, who will be more likely to stay with you for the long run.
Creating a company culture that matches your brand is never easy. It takes immense amounts of hard work, patience, and commitment to create a company identity that will last the test of time, especially within the ever-changing corporate marketplace of today. So, if you aren’t already aligning your company culture with your branding, the time is now for you to get started.