A successful company is supported by a strong brand. A brand that communicates the company’s strengths, expertise and unique value proposition to the greater market, but most effectively to the prospects. Most commonly, the marketing team focuses on building the brand around the value that the company provides its’ customers and the advantages their product/service has over the competition. OR: Most commonly, the marketing team focuses on building the brand around the company’s value proposition to its customers and versus the competition. However, to do it right, your brand should be closely aligned and even an extension of the company culture.
Think of your brand as the interface between the company and the world at large—the thing that links the “internal” environment of the business itself and the “external” presence of the company in the eyes of clients, collaborators, competitors, and the community. The values that define your culture should be demonstrated and practiced publicly, just as they are within your company’s four walls. This sends a strong message that you live your culture through and through—from the inside out, and the outside in. That’s how a brand is formed.
A strong culture will influence everyone in the organization. Consequently, its core values will be manifested in how executives and employees deal with people outside the organization. This, in turn, shapes public perception of the organization. For example, two of Insperity’s most important values are “integrity” and “accountability.” These traits dictate how we collaborate with each other during the workday, and they also influence how we do business. Our clients understand that we consciously adhere to these values and can see our decades-long track record of doing so. As a result, people have come to associate our company—our brand—with these traits.
Charitable giving is also a great way of linking the culture to the brand. At Insperity, we strongly promote philanthropy, raising money for other employees in need, and community service programs. After all, our mission is “Helping businesses succeed so communities prosper.” Insperity allows each employee up to 12 paid hours every quarter to participate in company-sponsored events or personal volunteer opportunities. Additionally, volunteerism has also served as a powerful team-building activity, which supports our core value of “achieving goals through servant leadership and teamwork.”
Philanthropy is its own reward, but it is also good for business as it helps build a durable brand. These efforts aren’t merely superficial. They’re a natural extension of our culture—how we treat each other, and how we view ourselves as members of a corporate community.
Furthermore, having a strong “employment brand”—being recognized as a great place to work—will draw top talent to your company. The right employment brand reflects the core values and communicates the advantages that the organization offers its members. Remember that prospective employees aren’t just looking for a job—they’re looking for a brand experience. Your unique company culture will give rise to a brand that serves as a selling point for would-be employees.
In more ways than one, cultivating a healthy, positive culture will boost your organization’s status and cultivate a public image that makes people look at your company with admiration and respect. This, in turn, ensures that your brand is strong and durable.