Brand Culture is a magical force that emerges from combining brand values and company culture. It is how the employees tend to decipher and embody the brand values, and the impact that has on external brand perceptions.
Brand culture has thus acted as a powerful tool that helps leaders and marketers strengthen internal value to enhance their company’s competitiveness.
Infusing ordinary scenes of a corporate environment like in-office ping pong tables and paid vacations with the meaningful influence of brand values makes for a powerful brand culture.
A corporate culture is simply an attendance policy if not combined with brand values. The corporate culture advises on how employees should act but fails to explain why those actions matter. Brand culture, on the contrary, gives a purpose to the employees, guiding them on how to interact with clients and resolve conflicts.
How to build a strong brand culture?
Few of the strongest brands from around the world maintain a brand culture that is consistent and is seen, heard, and felt across the world. Here is how three of the leading brands today cultivate a strong brand culture.
Southwest Airlines: Hire and promote for your values
Southwest airlines is reputed for their flexible flights, convenient scheduling, and impeccable customer service. However, these experience start with internal processes.
Their core internal goal is to hire the right people with three core attributes; a servant’s heart, a warrior’s spirit, and a fun-loving attitude, and that is what helps them offer remarkable customer service.
These attributes are what guide the employees through everyday promotions, development, and service.
Culture takeaways from Southwest:
It is exhausting and time-consuming to hire and promote based on company values, but it is among the best ways to align a global workforce with your internal brand values. To emulate Southwest Airlines, here is how you can adapt your culture:
Define employee attributes
It is essential you reflect the core values of the company in the screening process. In the list of employee attributes, include virtues depending on the core values you focus on and then share this description across recruiting platforms so that the candidates applying know exactly who are you looking for.
To save time and effort, it is often easy to settle on mediocre candidates, however, to take the more persevering path of hiring only great employees is going to pay off in the long run. You must have the candidate demonstrate or describe their life experiences that embody the core attributes of your brand instead of asking for responses to hypothetical situations.
Maintain consistent values
You must review the attributes on a regular basis to maintain consistency in creating a powerful brand culture. To hold a meeting with the team to discuss the values to keep reinforcing the attributes in the employee’s mind is important.
Publix Supermarkets: Treat employees how you’d treat customers
A family-owned Florida based supermarket, Publix is dedicated to keeping its customers satisfied and happy. Boasting of high employee retention rates, they appear consistently on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to work for list.
Their work on the saying ‘treat others the way you’d like to be treated’ and that seems to be the secret to their success. Being a supermarket employee doesn’t sound as nice as it is at Publix with them prioritizing the professional development of their employees and emphasizing on their happiness. For the first three months, new employees have check-in meetings every 30 days, and after just six months they qualify for a raise.
Also, the internal promotion strategy at Publix associates helps match current employees with any senior position vacancies that may align with their goals. Moreover, after a year working 1000 hours, all employees are offered valuation in the company, thereby making Publix the largest employee-owned company till date.
Culture takeaways from Publix
The brand’s reputation is enhanced by taking good care of employees. Moreover, the happier your employees are, the more likely are you to maintain a genuine, high-quality customer experience.
Consider employee ownership
Employees get the message that they matter to the company with being offered valuation in the company. Moreover, rather than just a job, an employee ownership management structure helps them see it as a tangible financial investment. Employees thus are driven to work hard and keep their customers happy.
Prioritize employee needs and goals
The managers and employees should establish a strong relationship by working on a process that calls for frequent communication. That way either party can share both their needs and grievances. Also, to create an actionable plan of growth, time must be dedicated to garnering feedback and understanding individual employee goals.
Provide Opportunities for Growth
To make your employees feel valued, you must provide to them opportunities for professional growth. To create such promotion opportunities, the company needs to understand the customer and then decide on goals. Also, a reinforcement technique to help employees work harder is to promote or reward the employees that perform well consistently.
The internal, as well as external perceptions of your brand or company, are largely influenced by the brand culture. A stronger brand culture will have a more lasting impact, as is visible in powerful brands like Moz, Southwest, and Publix where employees are happy and value driven and thus add consistently to the brand value.