How to nurture your organization’s culture to build your brand

You’ve recently completed the process of discovering your brand’s passion. Your newly minted strategic brand platform should formally capture this passion for your leadership team, employees, and other stakeholders, and include your brand’s:

  • Core purpose–Why the brand exists beyond just making money?
  • Values–How the brand’s actions reinforce its core purpose and distinguish it from competition?
  • Vision–What the brand aspires to achieve?
  • Identity–A framework that captures the key brand associations and value proposition that brand stewards aspire to imbue in the minds of customers, employees, and other stakeholders

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 10.36.45 AMDiscovering and formalizing the brand’s passion provides direction to the brand’s leadership team to build the power of the business inside the brand to sustain the brand’s capacity for winning in the marketplace. This enables the brand’s stewards to focus their efforts on the three most crucial tasks for developing brands that enrich lives:

  • Nurturing an organizational culture where employees live this passion
  • Tailoring a business system to create, deliver, and communicate this passion for customers
  • Fostering a pioneering spirit for refreshing this passion over time

Organizational culture becomes the “glue” for unifying the efforts of the organization behind the brand to win in the marketplace when employees are motivated to live the brand’s passion. This is likely to occur when the brand’s leadership team nurtures and sustains an organizational culture that is imbued and coherent with the brand’s core purpose and values. That’s because at the beating heart of a unifying organizational culture is a brand’s core purpose and values that are intrinsically motivating for employees.

A motivating core purpose and reinforcing values provide the basis for an enduring relationship between the brand and its customers by signaling the intention of the brand’s employees to enrich customers’ lives in a manner that is intrinsically compelling for both.

This can result in powerful gains for the business:

  • A stronger customer franchise
  • Leverage in the war for talent
  • Increased employee productivity
  • Lower payroll costs

While remuneration is an important factor for prospective employees in making employment decisions, other factors such as an intrinsically motivating core purpose and values also influence these choices. The capacity of successful brands such as Apple, Amazon, Dove, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Google, Method, Red Bull, Starbucks, TD Bank Group, Zappos and Zara to attract talented employees and achieve high levels of employee productivity and lower payroll costs, provide ample evidence.

It is foolhardy for a brand’s leadership team to conceive a higher purpose and values for their brand and then attempt to instill these into the hearts and minds of their employees as if by decree. The organizational culture will become the “glue” for unifying the efforts of the team behind the brand to win in the marketplace only when it is imbued and coherent with the an intrinsically motivating core purpose and values for the brand’s employees.

In doing so, the brand’s leadership will attract and keep the right employees—employees who value and who are in tune with the brand’s core purpose and values.

Steps for nurturing a culture to build your brand

Fortunately, the steps for nurturing an appropriate organizational culture to build your brand are consistent across industries:

  • Discover a core purpose and values for your brand that are reinforcing and intrinsically motivating for both customers and the right employees
  • Develop a strategic brand platform that captures your brand’s passion and makes your core purpose and values explicit for the leadership team and the right employees so that it can guide their actions over time
  • Craft the appropriate talent recruitment practices to ensure the brand hires the right employees by evaluating prospective employees with respect to the intrinsic motivation of the brand’s core purpose and values, rather than simply on their technical skills
  • Develop talent on-boarding practices that inculcate a deep understanding and commitment by new employees of the brand’s passion and their role in creating compelling value for customers
  • Nurture peer job socialization practices, hero story telling and public celebration rituals that are coherent with the desired organizational culture
  • Craft performance management and career advancement practices that reward employee behavior that is coherent with the brand’s core purpose and values
  • Ensure that the organization’s locations and employee working spaces and conditions reinforce the desired organizational culture
  • Recognize that these steps can only nurture the desired culture to build your brand if the leadership team’s actions and words are in tune with the brand’s core purpose and values every single day

By following this pathway from the inception of your brand building efforts you will create an organizational culture that becomes the “glue” for unifying the efforts of the team behind the brand to win in the marketplace.

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About ashleykonson

STRATEGY CONSULTING | EXECUTIVE COACHING | CORPORATE TRAINING | KEYNOTE SPEAKING | Ashley Konson is the Managing Partner of Global Brand Leaders Inc., a new kind of brand consulting company dedicated to making brands and their teams leaders across the globe. He is a Brand Leader, Business Consultant and Award-Winning Educator, and a recognized thought leader and fervent advocate of the premise that strong brands and businesses achieve and sustain their market positions because they are strong Inside out™.
This entry was posted in Brand Platforms, Brand Strategy, Branding, Business Practices, Consumer Goods Brands, Culture, Organizational Culture, Services Brands, Strong On The Inside and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to How to nurture your organization’s culture to build your brand

  1. Sang Tran says:

    Wonderful article. However, for a completely brand new firm, the job of building brand influence seems to be much more difficult, especially if such firms want to enter high-end section. Any suggestion, prof?

  2. ashleykonson says:

    Hello Tran, my apology for my delay in replying to you. I believe that the process I’ve discussed here is one that every new firm should follow. And this would be true for high-end firms, especially if culture can be a significant differentiator of brand relevance and distinctiveness in the market place.

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