Creating a Cultured Brand

6th April 2014

It is said that a brand is the soul of a company. In that case, culture is the DNA of a brand being lived and breathed by everyone in the firm.

Culture is a popular term but there is often confusion about what it really means and it’s often difficult and complex to define. An intellectual definition may be:

“The deeper level of basic assumptions and beliefs that are shared by members of an organisation, that operate unconsciously and that define an organisations view of its self”
(E Schein)

. . . but put simply it helps us explain why we do things the way we do.

Here’s a quick questionnaire to help you put a finger on the pulse of your real culture (and a starting point for change):

• What behaviours are being rewarded here?
• What attracts people to work here?
• What do employees believe about the business?
• What is not said that needs to be said?
• Why do employees believe this is a great place to work?
• How do line managers manage their employees?
• How are employees briefed on figures and business targets?
• Do employees think they are different and how?
• What stories about the company would you tell a new colleague?
• What stories have you been told about the company since joining?

Ever heard someone say “Great brand, lousy culture”? All that says is that brand spin conceals real organisational problems. What it really means is “Great logo, lousy brand”.

Great brands can have lousy logos though. That is far quicker and easier to fix!