Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Corporate Brand Culture: 5 steps toward improvement

Your brand's culture is an internal embrace. It's a belief system of value that's held by the company's leadership AND its employees. It's also the corporate environment that supports, presents, and projects the brand message to the public.

If every team member has the same values and ideas your company desires, then you've got a successful brand culture. This is rare and should be cherished. However, if company morale and confidence is low, employees are just punching the clock and getting a paycheck, you'll need to rally your team. In reality, most companies are somewhere inbetween...either way, your goal is always to energetically project a singular, vibrant brand message to the marketplace.

Just as Albert Einstein is credited with saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results,” you don't want to keep repeating past mistakes. In order to change your brand culture, you'll to have to go outside the managerial/marketing stratagem and involve the people of the culture...your employees.

5 steps toward improvement:
  1. Diagnostics – Know your (internal) Strengths and Weaknesses and your (external) Opportunities and Threats (SWOT).
  2. Involvement – Ask employees what central issues they believe about your current brand and where it's headed. What would stir their passions. Is it going green? Is it R&D? Is it more community involvement? What would make the brand more relevant and thus easier to market?
  3. Innovation – Involve employees in the decision process, asking their ideas on how to make things happen. This helps to promote ownership of the new culture. Allot freedom, a certain amount of time and space, and provide a system of measurement for employees to test drive their ideas. Post certain challenges and invite individuals to offer a portion of their work week toward solving them. Recognize these endeavors regardless of outcome.
  4. Peer Support –  Encourage peer-to-peer support and interaction. As employees take ownership in the decision process, build a system for ongoing communication, critique, joint ventures, and checks/balances.
  5. Brand Story –  Once the new culture is implemented, journal the journey. What is the new brand story? How did it grow from one perception to another? How is it evolving? How can the brand "live happily ever after"? Make sure each team member believes and is inspired by this story.
While building your brand's culture is an ever evolving process, applying these steps today will help solidify its transformation and future.

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