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What does your company stand for? How do you live that out every day at the office? The answers to those two questions help define your company culture.
Many business leaders don’t give a lot of thought to company culture, especially when it comes to marketing. Instead, they focus on designing high-quality products and services and promoting their features and benefits.
While you certainly want high-quality offerings, your company culture has more to do with your marketing and how consumers see your brand than you realize. As we’ve seen recently, with companies being publicly called out for poor social practices, your internal culture can make or break your public image.
Cultivating a positive company culture is the first step, and once you do, you can use that as part of your marketing strategy. Here’s what you need to know.
How to Build a Strong Company Culture
If you haven’t given much thought to your culture, you may not have a good handle on what it’s really like to work at your business. You may hope or assume that things are going well. However, it’s essential to take the time to truly find out.
Start by reviewing your company’s mission statement and vision. As you think about your corporate practices, are you living up to those standards? Are your leaders effective in guiding people by example?
Next, interview those who work at the company. You might use an anonymous survey, filled out by every level of employee. This will help you see what’s going on behind the scenes and alert you to problems that you can address.
Finally, make corrections and adjustments so that your company is living out its vision and mission. This will help you build a positive company culture that you can be proud of — and promote in your marketing.
Let Your Culture Improve Your Customer Relationships
As you build your company culture, think about how to ensure that your processes and expectations are in line with what customers need and expect. For instance, you don’t want to hire and train a customer service team to be highly analytical and data-oriented when customers expect an emotional experience. Instead, match what customers are looking for with the type of talent you hire and the environment you promote.
Studies show that employees want to feel purposeful about their work and understand how their role helps customers and the greater good. Building this sense of purpose into your culture enables you to attract and retain key talent, and it will give you a staff who genuinely cares about your clients — and your customers will be more loyal as a result.
Strong company culture can help you conserve resources as well. You don’t need to spend a ton of money on game tables, a crazy break room, or vacation bonuses to create a great culture. Instead, connect your staff with the heart behind your business and watch your company thrive.
Connect Your Company Culture With What Makes You Stand Out
In this oversaturated digital age, the key to any successful branding strategy is knowing what makes you different. What lifts you over the distractions and noise generated by your competitors?
Often products and services have similar specifications and perform similar functions. What makes you stand out is usually your commitment to something beyond the product itself. People love Apple because of it’s forward-thinking, sleek, modern vibe. People drink Coca Cola because it seems fun and enjoyable.
To improve your marketing, connect your company culture with your uniqueness. If your company focuses on innovation and creativity, give your employees time to innovate and be creative. If you’re focused on a fun-loving feeling, create that kind of atmosphere.
Use the same message, feeling, and overall unique approach to connect to your employees that you use to connect with your customers. When you do, you’ll attract talent that’s already focused on what you do and able to perform well in the environment you’ve created.
Share Your Culture Openly With Customers
Your company culture should be something that you’re proud of and passionate about. One of the best ways to market your products and services is to share your culture with the world!
People love behind-the-scenes looks at their favorite brands. It gives them a feeling of being an insider and having exclusive access. Use this tool to share your culture online, especially on social media. Pull back the curtain and let them see a company culture that matches your brand values and employees that are excited about their work.
Your Culture Builds Your Brand
A genuinely positive work environment is, unfortunately, rare. When you create a top-notch company culture that matches your mission and gives employees purpose, you’re building a place that top talent will be eager to work. Employee engagement and retention will be higher, leading to significant productivity.
Indiana Lee is a writer and journalist from the Pacific Northwest with a passion for covering workplace issues, social justice, environmental protection, and more. In her off time you can find her in the mountains with her two dogs. You can follow her work on Contently, or reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @indianalee3