PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR COMPANY CULTURE.
If you ask the average person on the street to define what a “brand” is, you’ll probably hear something about logos, symbols, taglines, or advertising. And while those things often are important components of establishing a brand, they are far from the whole picture. A brand is the set of promises you make to your customers about what they can expect when they interact with your business. And all too often, those promises are broken for a surprising reason: the company culture doesn’t align with the brand.
YOUR FRONTLINE EMPLOYEES ARE THE ONES WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR LIVING UP TO YOUR BRAND’S PROMISES.
After all, they are the ones who interact with your customers every day. But too often, company culture is thought of as an internal concern that has little to do with customers. Culture consists of the “unwritten rules” of how the day-to-day work gets done. What behavior gets rewarded? What gets punished? What is frowned upon but tolerated? If the answers to those questions don’t align with your brand, your customers can feel it right away.
For example, if your brand is all about quality and continuous improvement but your employees are afraid to surface problems, how effective do you think your organization can ever be at solving problems? If on the other hand, your people are celebrated and rewarded for surfacing problems – even if they don’t yet have a solution – then your culture is supporting your brand.
Or if your brand is about exceptional creativity, you need to have a culture that rewards experimentation and risk-taking. If someone on your team gets a bad performance review because an experiment they tried was a failure, it is sure to be a wet blanket on future willingness to try
Your company’s brand and culture need to be based on the same organizational purpose and set of values.
If they aren’t, how much conviction will your team have when they are talking about the set of promises that your brand stands for?
– Tom Komjathy