Branding is easy to understand as a marketing feature. You try to position your business as a specific entity in the eyes of your audience, which you can accomplish through effective and strategic messaging.
But in reality, your organisation’s brand goes far beyond your marketing department. In fact, your organisational culture can play a major part in how your brand develops. If the culture doesn’t match the brand, you could have a serious image problem on your hands. Understanding the ways in which this culture manifests itself allows you to brand your business for consistent, long-term success.
Understanding Your Brand Holistically
What, exactly, is your brand? The answer to that question is more difficult than you might think. Definitions vary wildly, but the best way to sum it up is also the most telling: it’s the identity of your business in the eyes of your audiences.
Your audiences, of course, consist of more than just current and potential customers. Developing a consistent brand requires a comprehensive understanding of its breadth, which necessitates diving into another abstract concept: organisational culture.
The Concept of Organisational Culture
Much like a brand, organisational culture is a concept everyone seems to know, but no one can quite define. It’s a system of beliefs and values, shared by members of a given organisation. That culture manifests itself in how employees treat their work and each other. In many ways, it’s the work environment, which is how it connects to your brand.
Employees as Brand Evangelists
As you might know, employees play a core part in how your promote your brand. They are your original brand evangelists, communicating their beliefs and opinions about your business and its products to your target audience.
If these communications line up with your branded messages, your credibility sky-rockets. But if they don’t, or even communicate negative aspects of your brand to potential customers, cognitive dissonance arises – and you have a branding problem.
Understanding Your Employer Brand
Increasingly, organisational culture has also begun to play into recruitment. Organisations across industries jockey to position themselves as an employer of choice, seeking to attract top talent by positioning themselves as a company that employees want to work for. That goal, of course, is only possible with a strong and positive organisational culture.
Once you understand the value of a positive employer brand, you begin to realise why telling your brand story becomes so important. The more credible and relate-able your story, the more likely you will be to attract both talent to work for you and customers for your business.
Reconciling Branding and Culture for Consistent Success
In other words, long-term success is only possible if you build a brand that is consistent with your company’s culture. But the same concept also works the other way around: internal branding can help build and strengthen your organisational culture, as long as it’s compatible with your employees’ values and beliefs.
Consistency is crucial in Branding and Culture, from the strategy to the design. But that consistency can only be possible if it extends to your organisational culture, ensuring that what you communicate externally matches how your employees feel about your company and their work. Get it right, and you can rely on an army of evangelists to help promote your message. Get it wrong, and you can seriously damage your branding efforts and marketing success.
In short, your brand goes far beyond your marketing strategy. For maximum success, you need to develop a brand that is consistent with and builds on your organisational culture. To learn more about building a brand that all of your audience can get behind, contact us.
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