Strong brands connect people to their purpose, and when that happens, company culture thrives.
I’ve worked for several organisations who’ve invested thousands of dollars in their brand strategy—indeed have even ‘sold’ me on how great their company culture is—only to find it was all a snow job.
The most disappointing (and laughable) experience was reading that one of their core values was health—this is of great importance to me and I believed them based on what they’d written on their website’s About page.Should’ve prodded deeper in my interview.
Bowls of iridescent-hued, sugar-coated snacks were plonked on the table during the day. Every time you opened the fridge it wheezed out whiffs of cold pizza and spattered beer.
Over the years I’ve struggled to find organisations who actually use their brand strategy to build company culture.
And guess what I discovered?
Brand and culture alignment takes more than having Friday office drinks.
Or stating a set of glossy brand values on your website expecting them to magnetise (and retain) the right employees to your door.
It takes a collaborative commitment to ensure those inspirational statements and definitions are lived and breathed in the workplace so that your brand strategy actually works for you, not against.
In other words:
If you’re not being thoughtful about putting all that expensive brand work into action, you’ll come off reeking like a phony rat.
So what’s company culture got to do with copywriting?For me, a lot.
It’s in the expression of everything your organisation does that defines your brand, and that means both externally and internally.
Great copy that’s aligned with a decent brand strategy can shift the disgruntled naysayers in your workplace to raving advocates. And they’re the ones who usually become the star employees that bring in more business.
One of the things I’ve come up against when starting on brand development work for clients is the incongruencies in how the team understands the brand, how it should be expressed and what the stated values are supposed to look like within their workplace.
So whilst you might think I simply go about my research to find words to punch into the ether about your business, it goes way deeper than that.
I work with clients I care about and hope to make a difference for, so when I come up against brand misalignments, I work through them to ensure we’re not going to be spouting inauthentic fairy-dust-filled words about the place simply to meet a bottom line.
Brand culture must be worked at through the grit and potential discomfort of getting real about internal behaviour, the way values are lived and how well the brand strategy is being expressed at every customer facing touch point.
Beside a bit of toil, working at it can be pretty rewarding. It can happen any way you like and the more creative or fun you make the process, the better the result from your team.
So the question to ask is, how well aligned do you think your company culture is with your brand?
Because if it’s not, you’re not building longevity and authenticity into your business DNA.
Better whip those spiffy brand documents out before it’s too late.