Infusing Brand Culture, From the Inside Out

By Sandy Ellis

As companies strive to differentiate themselves through consistent and excellent products and services, their ability to infuse a purpose-driven culture throughout their organization and across their supporting partners is crucial.

Elon Musk said, “every person in your company is a vector. Your progress is determined by the sum of all vectors.” Although an effective way to emphasize the need for organizational alignment, it doesn’t stop there. Firms need to include selecting strategic partners that can infuse the desired culture within their operations. This is especially crucial for service delivery, where the brand promise is either elevated or damaged with each customer interaction.

Let’s begin by exploring what brand culture is not.

Culture is Not a Thing

Companies can brand offices by painting walls in corporate-approved color schemes and posting logos and inspirational quotes among a sea of cubicles. But even the best of floor designs will not magically create a healthy and productive culture. Great customer experiences and customer service interactions gone-bad can both occur regardless of what is on the surrounding walls.

Culture is not a physical thing that can be externally imposed into a static setting – a misdirected outside-in approach.

Culture is a living essence that becomes incredibly powerful when individual actions and behaviors converge in alignment with a company’s vision, mission, and values – an inside-out way of operating.

It Starts with a Purpose

It is well known that individuals are happier, healthier, and perform at a higher level when they feel connected with others in supporting common causes that align with their value system.

There are numerous benefits to a firm being able to clearly articulate a meaningful purpose and establish a complementary framework that organically flows throughout the business model, inclusive of strategic partnerships. Although seemingly simple, it is rare for companies to effectively execute this concept into their comprehensive business strategy.

Alignment Sparks Innovation

Whether the desired culture is captured in a formalized vision or mission statement or within company values is less important than its application throughout the business. To move from abstract inspirational thinking to concrete practices that enable a healthy culture, start with alignment across your people, processes, and technology.

The adage that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ applies. Create a vision in which each individual within your organization’s ecosystem can embrace and apply to their contributions to the firm. Consistent messaging over time reinforces the vision and creates an environment that organically exposes areas within the business misaligned to strategy. It’s imperative to include checks and balances to validate that the desired culture is distinguishable in “the how” across all interactions, and roles.

Intentional design and use of technology can also provide a wealth of information to capture the voice of your customers, employees, and suppliers that will enable the company to trend and prioritize product, process, and service enhancements.

Building a great culture is just the beginning. Sustaining a healthy culture as the firms expected way of operating is equally important. An effective way to continue to reinforce desired behaviors is to regularly share successes loud and proud! Positive momentum will be gained, and efforts will naturally accelerate by showcasing stories that highlight desired behavioral alignment tying back to delivering the brand promise.

What is your Company Persona?

Every company has one, but only a select few have achieved a company persona that truly embodies elevated experiences. According to a recent study conducted by Accenture, “the leading 20% of companies are 2.5 times more likely than their peers to say they’re able to establish and manage a brand promise that connects directly to customer experiences.”

The intentionality of infusing culture into every aspect of strategy with an inside-out approach differentiates leading companies. At Activus Connect, we understand the power of building a business on sound foundational principles across all human experiences, #HX. The natural outcome is our ability to integrate clients efficiently and seamlessly into SmartVirtual™, with like-minded service delivery professionals that believe in, champion, and promote our client’s company persona from the inside out.

To learn more about Activus Connect and the numerous benefits of our SmartVirtual™ platform, visit us here.