Branding And Company Culture

Every serious businessman knows that growth is not possible without creating calculated brand building strategies. If you are not good at branding, the only right answer to the question ‘how to develop a brand strategy’ is - hire a branding agency. While the agency is ensuring your growth as a brand, you should align your brand and company culture. When the leadership takes this transformation initiatives, one question is often asked -

What comes first, brand or culture?

To find the answer to this question, the leadership must address the following questions to optimize the relationship between the organization’s brand and culture. 
  • What is the purpose of the company?
  • What are the unique aspects of the company culture?
  • Do these aspects act as roadblocks to success?

What Is The Purpose Of The Company?

The purpose is the key element that binds the internal culture and external brand together. The purpose is the reason a company exists for customers. This provides a vital starting point for building a culture for employees and brand for external audiences. 

For example, your current focus is on employee development. The message of employee development can be very compelling to employees. However, your focus on employee development should not affect your focus on closing deals with current clients and prospects. The purpose of your company is to empower advancement. Empowering employees is a part of this purpose. 

Finding the company’s purpose does not determine the first element to be tackled - brand or culture. However, this is the first step that provides a guidepost for initiatives.

What Are The Unique Aspects Of The Company Culture?

You want to build a brand to compete with the key players in the market. You need one of the best brand building strategies to grow and stand out. However, this also requires a unique company culture. When you are competing with companies with high turnover, providing training and development opportunities to your employees can be the unique aspect of your company culture. Excellent opportunities lead to long-tenured and passionate employees. This unique aspect of the culture can be beneficial both for the employees and the company’s clients. This is where the company’s brand and culture are aligned. The culture is a central message of the company’s external differentiation. This culture attribute makes the company a better partner for its key stakeholders. This is something larger competitors may not be offering. 

There is a misconception linked with strong company culture. It is believed that the existence of a strong culture requires overwhelming commonalities across employees. However, the truth is that diversity can be the foundation of strong culture. This diversity can be in terms of backgrounds, skills and ideas. The only commonality required for this culture is shared belief in the values of the company

Embracing a unique culture can help in creating better solutions for clients and eventually ensure growth as a brand. Myriad opinions and experiences can be a great asset for clients of the company. A diverse employee base can bring the best ideas. This can make the company stand out and it can secure more projects. This shows that unique aspects of the company’s culture can provide the groundwork to differentiate brand position. In such situations, articulating company culture plays an important role in aligning company’s brand and culture. The company just has to identify those elements and see how they can be beneficial for the internal and external stakeholders. So, if you are a leader who wants to transform his company, first of all, understand the culture of your company. Address your doubts if you have any before you develop an external brand. 

Do These Aspects Act As Roadblocks To Success?

Some aspects of the company culture can act as a barrier to your growth as a brand. For example, you may be falling behind on customer services. Clients looking for a flexible approach find it hard to work with you. Your company has a product-driven culture and your focus is to sell the latest and greatest functionalities and features. However, you are not addressing specific customer needs on time. In such situations, the company requires to develop a new purpose-driven and customer-focused brand. 

What Comes First, Brand Or Culture?

The answer to this question is - it depends. If your company culture can differentiate your company in the competition, use your culture as a foundation for brand development. If your culture becomes a roadblock, build a brand that puts the customer first. After that, work on the culture of your company.