Friction between Brand and Culture Costs You Money

Why You Can’t Ignore the Relationship Between Your Brand and Culture

The relationship between your brand and your culture must be frictionless. Your employees’ interactions with customers and with each other need to be like a well-oiled machine. The way your employees interact with customers and fellow employees is indicative of your company’s cultural health. If internal and external interactions are not lubricated sufficiently with a healthy cultural perspective, then there will be friction between the engine parts. And friction between your employees—and especially your customers—will cost you money.

Friction

Your marketing messages and your employee culture must be in alignment. If they are not in alignment, then your customers will be confused. And confusion kills branding.

If your culture in your organization is not optimal, then you cannot optimize customer retention. Until the culture improves, there will be customer churn. And that friction in your brand-culture relationship will cost you money. And you especially cannot afford that friction in this difficult economy.

Here are three points to remember in reducing friction in your organization’s brand-culture relationship.

 

How to Get the Most from Your Training Program

Integrate Your Culture Building Process into Your Training Curriculum

Your training program in your company may be incomplete. Training is an essential part of building your culture, but many organizations don’t understand how comprehensive it should be. Culture building should be integrated into your training program in order to get the most out of your training dollars. Otherwise you are throwing money away.

training program

Training is not expensive: lack of training is expensive. Take The Container Store, for example. They provide their employees with more than 10x the amount of training their industry average provides. And they pay their employees significantly more than the industry average. And yet their employees have only 1/10 of the industry turnover rate.

The training The Container Store provides their team serves to create the culture that keeps employees working for the company. Similarly, your company needs to incorporate your culture building process into your training program.

Here are the four levels necessary for your training program to mutually reinforce your culture building process.

(Re)Discovering Your Company Purpose

Digging Deep to Recover Your Reason for Being

Your company purpose is key to your brand differentiation. Knowing why you do what you do will help you draw the right customers to your company. But what if along the way you have lost hold of your company purpose? Or what if you never identified your company purpose? The good news it’s never too late for you to (re)discover your company purpose.

company purpose

Now, it’s important to remember that your company purpose has nothing to do with making money. It can’t have anything to do with making money. Because making money is only a by-product of your company purpose.

Here are three ways you can (re)discover your company purpose.

Operationalize Your Brand in Your Company Culture

Four Strategies to Reinforce Your Brand through Your Employees’ Actions

How do you strategically ensure that your customers consistently experience your brand positively? Your customers will receive a clear brand message from your company only if your employees’ actions exude your brand. COVID has created a challenging environment for creating that consistent brand experience. But you can orchestrate that clear brand message if you operationalize your brand throughout your company culture.

operationalize your brand

Your brand message will not be clearly received by your customer if their experiences with your company are not consistent. If your customer receives one message from your advertising and then their experiences with your team contradict those messages, then they will be confused. And confusion kills branding.

Through dozens of interviews with CEOs, I have found that if a company does operationalize their brand, they usually employ only one or two strategies. As a result, most companies do not gain the full benefit of their brand because they do not employ all available strategies to operationalize it. In order of frequency of adoption, here are the four strategies you can use to operationalize your brand.

COVID-19 Provides Strategic Branding Opportunities

What Do Your Customers Want During This Crisis?

The other day I interviewed a CEO for a book I am writing. During our conversation, he told me his company did some research 10 years ago about what differentiated them from their competition. What did their customers tell them? They learned from their customers that it was how the company treated them—the way the employees made them feel—that made the difference. And that has provided them with some strategic branding opportunities.

strategic branding opportunities

We can apply a lesson from this story to how we deal with the COVID-19 crisis. The Chinese character for the English word crisis is composed of two characters: one signifies “danger” and the other signifies “opportunity.” At this time, we can choose to look at this crisis for the dangers it presents, or we can look at the opportunities it offers.

Right now, the COVID-19 crisis provides you with some strategic branding opportunities. By providing what your customers and prospects want and need in this crisis, you can cultivate a closer relationship with them. Here are three questions for you to consider how you can benefit others—and benefit your company—during this crisis.

What Is Good Culture and Why Is It Important?

Why Your Company Needs a Good Culture More than You Think

I attended a conference recently when someone asked me, “What exactly is a good culture?” That was a great question, considering that a lot of people don’t understand what it is or why it is important. And here was my answer: “Good culture is your team’s understanding of how they are to behave even when you are not around.”

culture

Without that definition, it’s easy to ignore the impact and importance of culture. But when people understand it in those terms, they see why it impacts everything that their employees do. And they understand the precarious predicament they put themselves if they don’t take their culture seriously.

Here are five ways that a good culture benefits your organization.

How to Create a Distinctive Brand

How to Best Position Your Company in Your Market

Superbowl LIV showcased two great teams who provided their fans with an exciting game. But the main event in many lopsided Superbowl contests are the advertisements. The price tag of these ads requires that the companies who pay for them understand exactly how they want to position themselves in order to create a distinctive brand.

Distinctive Brand

Strategic branding requires understanding the relationship between your company and your customer. To strategically brand your product or service, you must know precisely what you want to convey—and why.

Here are three steps to create a distinctive brand.

The Six Keys to Great Messaging

co-written with Ben Case, Case Consulting Services Inc.

Good branding matters whether you work for a company or a nonprofit. Whether you’re selling a product or you’re selling an idea. And good branding requires great messaging.

great messaging

Before I started Transformational Impact LLC, I worked with my friend Ben Case at Case Consulting Services, Inc. Ben is reputedly one of the best major gift fundraisers in the world, having helped nonprofits raise more than $4.3 billion in his 40 years of fundraising.

In 2016, I helped Ben write a series on the Six Keys to Great Messaging. Here is a summary of those six keys.

Three Essentials of Good Branding

Building a good brand is not complicated. Good branding starts with leadership who understand how they want to define their brand and then deliver that brand over and over again.

good branding

While good branding is not complicated, it’s not necessarily easy. It involves creating a culture where everyone understands what the brand promise means and how to repeatedly deliver that promise to customers.

You must design your brand promise so that every customer will understand the brand message. To create that experience, follow these three essentials of good branding.