3 Steps to a Strong ‘Brand Culture’ at your Organisation

When I ask individuals across all levels of an organisation, ‘What does the company brand mean to you?’, they typically find it difficult to answer that question.

An organisation’s brand is so much more than a logo or a website. In fact, your brand is most meaningfully communicated through your people. This is what I call your ‘Brand Culture’ – and I see a lot of gaps in this area when I go into organisations:

Firstly, at the board level: While boards are now talking about Culture, they typically don’t recognise the important role of Brand Strategy in leading Culture from the top.

Secondly, at leadership level: I see some organisations doing exercises around Brand and Purpose, but that doesn’t always translate into a meaningful strategy for what they’re leading staff to do on a day-to-day basis.

Finally, at whole-staff level: Walking into organisations, I find that individuals struggle to tell me what the Brand stands for, or what it means for their daily work and communications.

Why Brand Culture matters

The way that your team members engage with, understand, and communicate the brand with internal and external audiences forms part of your company culture, and is a practical and tangible way to start to address where culture needs to shift or be enhanced at your organisation, through alignment with a strong brand.

Giving attention to how your staff connect with and communicate your brand also allows you to build trust with important stakeholders and audiences, because confident team members in turn inspire confidence from others. Organisations that confidently know who they are and what they bring to stakeholders can quickly and effectively engage others.

Assessing and addressing your Brand Culture: 3 Steps

Here are some questions under each of the 3 Steps in Brand Culture that I have developed to assist clients to assess and address how the company brand is expressed by the organisation’s people. You can use this as checklist to start thinking strategically about your Brand Culture.

Step 1. Company Brand Strategy – How clearly is the brand positioned?

  • Is the company brand underpinned by clear and meaningful purpose and values?
  • Do you have clearly defined target markets and audiences?
  • Do you have a clearly defined value proposition for those targets?

Step 2. Team Brand Engagement – How meaningfully do your team members connect with the brand?

  • Are they clear on what it is?
  • Have they been given opportunities to personally connect with it?
  • Have they built a ’team identity’ in each team, that is connected to the core brand?

Step 3. Team Brand Expression – How well do your people communicate the brand with others?

  • Do staff feel empowered to confidently and consistently communicate the brand externally with stakeholders, in a variety of settings?
  • Have staff developed their ‘personal brands’ in order to build trust with stakeholders and audiences, as they communicate and build relationships?

Exploring these and other questions in each of the 3 steps above will allow you to start to build a picture of your organisation’s ‘Brand Culture’, towards strategy and development at board, leadership, department/team or whole-staff level, in order to create more meaningful, trust-inspiring businesses and workplaces.

Julissa Shrewsbury
Brand Culture & Team Personal Branding Specialist

If you are interested in learning more about Julissa and her workshops on Essemy, please visit this link.