It’s Alyssa here, stepping in for Brent this week where I get to write to you about one of my favorite topics: brand.

Business is about people. Your employees and your customers. They’re what makes the business world go round and your profits go up.

It’s for this reason that culture is top of mind for high-performing companies. But so far, everything I’ve said you already know. You definitely know it intellectually, and you likely know it intrinsically.

So let me ask you a different question:

When you think about culture, do you think about your brand?

Raise your hand if you think all things related to your company brand lie within the marketing department.

You wouldn’t be alone, many people do. But your brand is so much bigger than your marketing department.

When we hear the term brand, it can be easy to constrain it to branding–you’re logo, color palette, tagline, and any other identifiable symbols. Those components definitely reside in marketing and design, but while these are incredibly important, they aren’t your brand. They’re reflections of it.

There are many definitions of brand, but they can be summed up like this: Your brand is the perception you put forth about your products, services, experience, or organization.

It’s how you represent your company and your values to others. So is your culture.

But brand is external, right? And culture is the internal part?

It’s easy to assume that you only need to focus on your brand externally, but that’s not true either. A brand should be cohesive throughout the entire experience with your company—for customers and for employees. If it’s not cohesive, you’re leaving room for confusion.

Most of the time, when we refer to brand we’re talking about our external presence—how a specific audience that we sell to or a certain type of client we want to attract is going to experience the company. However, how you develop your brand internally is just as important as externally.

Your employees need to understand how to communicate about the company—not just their job title and what they do on a daily basis. Each employee is a representation of your brand when they’re out in the world.

2 Peas in a Pod

Your brand and your culture should be complimentary. When you have a cohesive brand embedded into your culture it minimizes chaos. Suddenly, departments that typically work in silos are connected in a common purpose that is easily understood. When an angry customer writes into your support department, your support specialist will know how to respond in a tone and manner that is appropriate for your overall brand image. Or, when your product department is evaluating a new feature request, they can make a strategic decision based on the brand vision that’s been set for the year.

If focus is a goal for you, your team, and/or your company in 2019, you need to be thinking about your brand as a component to your culture. When your people are in alignment about the brand of the company they can make more strategic decisions in their daily activities.

The Brand & Culture Connection

Clearly communicating about your brand creates a community between employees, your company, and your customers. Brand becomes something that the entire company is responsible for, not just the marketing department, and that drives a company culture forward because people know what they’re working towards and how it influences the common goal.

TOP READS:

Here are two of my favorite reads on this topic from HBR.

Why Your Company Culture Should Match Your Brand


Brand is Culture and Culture is Brand

^^This one highlights a company that decided to be purposefully unconventional and roll HR and Marketing up to the same executive because of the importance of internal brand in their culture.

Make it a great week,
Alyssa

How does your company promote the brand internally? Let me know in the comments.