I think trust is a key factor in the success of a business; particularly service-based businesses. Think about it: if you were considering handing over your hard-earned money to a business, you’d have to trust them first, right?
And where does that trust come from? Here’s what I’ve found to be true: it comes from the people who work in your business — whether it’s just you, or you have a team behind you.
And that’s where brand culture comes and why it’s an important part of building your brand. Let’s take a look at what it all means.
What is brand culture?
Brand culture describes the infusion of a brand throughout the business — at every level. Instead of a brand being something that only the founder can explain, or something that is maintained only by designers or marketers, it’s shared and upheld by the entire team.
Good brand culture means that everyone is on board with the values and purpose that drive the brand. Instead of the brand being a public image that is projected only outwardly to customers, it’s something that is built from the inside out. It means that the people who make up the business are living, breathing embodiments of the brand that they represent.
The benefits of brand culture
Good brand culture:
- attracts like-minded people — whether they’re potential employees or potential customers
- grows an environment where people that are motivated to work for you and are passionate about what they do
- creates team members who are great brand ambassadors who boost your brand awareness
- builds brands that are authentic and actually represent what the business believes
Brand culture and customers
In this incredible digital age we live in, brands have to be more transparent than ever before. We’re able to learn information and share it at lightning speed. If a business says they have certain brand values but then conduct their business in a way that doesn’t align with those values, people are amazingly quick to catch on. And that kind of thing can do huge amounts of damage to a brand.
As customers, we often use brands as a way to express ourselves. The brands we choose to associate with become closely tied to our sense of self. We take ownership of brands. So, we want brands that are honest and true to their word. Brands that keep their promises and believe in those promises down to the core of everything they do.
In that way, customers actually become a part of our brand cultures. There’s no division between the external and internal images. People want businesses that tell stories and make connections and commit to their brands wholeheartedly. They actually expect it.
Related post: How defining your core customer will boost your business
Brand culture and internal relationships
Having a well-developed brand culture is a hugely beneficial thing for a business. If everyone on your team believes in the same values and is striving to achieve the same goals, creating a strong brand comes naturally.
A team that follows and understands your brand message is going to be more motivated to achieve success for your business. We all want to do work we believe in. If everyone is on the same page internally, you’re able to foster an environment from which you’re able to effectively communicate your brand outwardly. Things like customer service, brand strategy and marketing tactics fall into place easily.
When you have shared values and a common purpose, creating a consistent brand experience for customers is more effortless.
How to build brand culture
For an effective brand culture, it starts with you — the business owner or founder. You’ve got to be the brand’s biggest advocate. Not just with words either. You’ve got to be able to demonstrate what your brand is about through your actions.
Share the brand attributes, core values, goals, personality traits and everything else with everyone on your team. Don’t think of your brand as something that only belongs to you, or to the people in charge of your designs or marketing. Your brand should be embodied by everyone associated with your business. For that to happen, you need a way to communicate what your brand stands for and also the reasoning behind it. Explain why your brand’s values and purpose is important.
Make sure everyone is aware of things like your brand strategy. For internal documents, speak in your brand voice, just as you would if you were writing something that customers would read. It’s really just about treating the “inside” and “outside” images of your business as the same thing.
You should also be mindful of the people you hire, the clients you work with, and the other business you might work with for things like collaborations.
To me, brand culture is simply the result of running a business in the most honest and true way. You have a purpose that you believe in, find other people who understand what you’re trying to achieve and want to help you do it, and build a brand based on your shared understanding and common values. You put something out into the world and say, we want to achieve something, and this is how we’re doing it. There’s no act, no sleazy selling of something you don’t believe in. Just a genuine cause and desire to make some change for the better.
And isn’t that more enticing?
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