248 - 4 Culture Mistakes that Could be Killing your Brand
Clever marketing tag lines, advertising campaigns and industry events: These are just some of the external strategies used to build a brand.
But many business leaders wonder why these approaches aren’t impacting sales the way they expected.
While many companies look externally to performance metrics and marketing data, the answer often lies internally with the company’s culture — a factor that could be the difference between a strong, trusted brand and a company that is overlooked by its ideal customers.
As business leaders, the culture we create and reinforce shapes our brand from the inside out. That’s why you want to avoid the mistakes below that could negatively impact your brand.
1) Failing to clearly define and demonstrate company values
Culture is a reflection of your company’s values, and when those values aren’t communicated regularly, the brand experience will be inconsistent to customers.
Let’s say maintaining a service mindset is a core value at your company. What if one employee interprets that as simply responding to a customer request while another employee views it as going the extra mile? Those varying interpretations can manifest as wildly different customer experiences.
The key takeaway: It’s critical to be clear not only on what the company values are, but also how they should be demonstrated in team interactions and customer touch points.
2) Allowing marketing and HR to work in silos
If the brand your marketing team is promoting isn’t the same brand your HR team is selling to employees, then this disconnect will show to your customers. As Bill Taylor, co-founder of Fast Company, once said, “You can’t be special, distinctive and compelling in the marketplace unless you create something special, distinctive and compelling in the workplace.”
With your HR and marketing leaders on the same page, you’ll be able to have your culture reflect your brand — and vice versa — in a powerful way.
3) Permitting leaders to make their own rules
Decision-makers across your organization must think of the company first and uphold the standards of operation instead of cutting corners or going rogue.
Making situational exceptions could translate into different customer experiences and it weakens your brand. Customers lose confidence and become less loyal when they aren’t sure they can count on your company in the same way, every time.
4) Settling for average
The quality of your team is tied to the strength of your brand because it’s your employees who are representing who you are through each customer interaction. If you aren’t investing time and resources into a selection process that lands the best people on your team, then you could be sabotaging your brand.
Aim higher in your hiring and watch as your team delivers on a brand promise that is ironclad.
Brands are more than bold headlines or polished imagery; they are built every day, with every interaction. By converging your culture and brand, you pave the way for a cohesive customer experience that will help build a loyal following, increase sales and cement in customers’ minds the brand story you wish to tell.
Source: Business Journals