I spend a ton of time talking about the importance of Brand Identity when it comes to developing effective marketing strategies. There are multiple components to your identity and much of the focus is placed on the visual aspects such as logos, colors, and typefaces.
One of the most important, and often overlooked, aspects of your brand identity is your company culture...
Think of company culture as your brand's personality. It is the environment your employees work in; your values, mission, expectations, and goals. In order to create a truly seamless customer experience your employees have to be on board with your brand.
Identifying Your Culture
Company culture is a natural byproduct of starting a business and hiring employees, and there is only so much you can do to shape it. The unavoidable combination of your goals, mission, and expectations with the personality and viewpoints of your staff automatically shapes the basis of your culture.
As a growing company, it is imperative you make efforts to identify and understand your company culture. How do your employees feel about working for you? How do they act while they're on the job? What is the general workplace mood? These are great indicators of how healthy your culture is.
A step-by-step guide to measuring your culture:
Interview your leaders - how do they perceive company goals and values?
Conduct employee surveys - how do employees perceive the company? Do they understand the goals and values?
Review your goals and values - ensure that they are easy to follow and understand, compare them to the results of your surveys.
Repeat - develop a consistent level of contact with your leadership and employees; make the surveys bi-annual or annual.
Maintaining Your Culture
The simplest way to maintain a positive company culture is to keep your leaders close to the action. By "close to the action" I don't mean micro-managing; I simply mean that your leaders should make it a habit to communicate with your employees and observe how they are adapting and reacting to your company culture. This puts you in a position to quickly identify issues before they have time to grow and negatively impact the way your employees feel about your organization.
As you grow and add new employees, the dynamic of your company culture will automatically change. That's why maintaining a consistent review schedule of your culture is so important. Healthy growth is characterized by a combination of evolving goals and values with the changing dynamic of your staff.
What does this have to do with marketing?
Think of marketing as a language that is unique to each business. When you advertise your brand, the messaging you use should be a reflection of your company culture. When customers do business with you, they expect the customer experience to speak that same language.
If you don't understand your company culture, there's a good chance that your employees might not understand your message or be on board with your goals. When you don't combine your marketing with your culture you create competing languages that can confuse your customers and create a disconnect. Remember, you should strive to create an experience that builds trust and comfort with your customers.
Perform a brand analysis.
Whenever I work with new clients, the first step is always to perform a brand analysis. Believe it or not, many companies I've worked with have never performed a brand analysis and haven't even begun to understand their culture. This puts your organization at a huge advantage when it comes to creating effective marketing strategies.
I highly suggest hiring an outside marketing team to assist you with your analysis. An outside team should bring many years worth of experience to the table as well as an external perspective you can use to sharpen your culture.
Daniel Marr is a Marketing Strategist and Director of Business Development for NWPC Marketing Solutions, a team of marketing experts dedicated to helping you achieve your goals and BOOST your brand! Our awesome team strives to build effective marketing strategies by working side-by-side with businesses as advisors and consultants.