How a Strong Brand Strategy Helps Define Corporate Culture
09.27.2016 / Posted in Articles, Recruitment, Strategy
We’ve written before about the importance of brand promises to a company’s value, to its decision-making process, and to its profits.
Yet how about its value in building a strong, engaged employee base?
After all, when you can attract top-notch candidates, keep them tuned in and adding value to your company, and retain them for longer than your industry’s average employee tenure, you’ll outpace your competition by miles.
So how does a strong brand promise build a strong employee base?
Strong brand promises give company leadership teams a platform upon which to structure corporate culture. When you know who you are and why you do what you do, it’s easier to determine how you’ll act and why.
First, let’s define corporate culture: When we say “corporate culture,” we refer to the attitudes, values, and beliefs that guide the company and influence how its employees behave. These are important to have. (And if you don’t have them, you’d really better pay attention.)
Tying a Brand Promise to a Corporate Culture
FrogDog worked with PG Professional Golf, the world’s largest recycled golf ball company, to help it define what it promises to be to its clients, venders, partners, and employees. We teamed with the company’s leadership and a handful of its longest standing employees to define its company character.
We won’t summarize the full process here, yet you can read more about our philosophy on brand strategy in our article series on brand promises and our white paper on brand strategy, and you can read about FrogDog’s brand-strategy effort with PG Professional Golf in our case study on the project. (And if you’d like to read yet another example of our brand strategy work, click over to this case study on our effort with King Ranch.)
After a lot of workshopping and discussion, PG Professional Golf and FrogDog developed the following brand promise: “To build lasting relationships by exceeding expectations through our integrity and our passion for golf.”
The company had something of a corporate culture in place before we started the brand strategy process, yet it had come together somewhat haphazardly. Certainly, there were teambuilding events, recognition for hard work and tenure, and activities designed to motivate and inspire the employee base.
Yet with the newly defined brand promise in place, the company could reshape the activities it undertook to engage, encourage, appreciate, and develop employees to ensure that they truly stemmed from the PG Professional Golf core values.
Putting Corporate Culture in Action
Many of the PG Professional Golf employee culture events remained, but they evolved to ensure that each activity reinforced the company’s brand promise:
- The company focused on ensuring it rewarded employees for doing the right thing—showing integrity—over doing simply what might make the company the most money. It gave its customer service team significant agency in making sure that its customers had the best possible experience with the company. This managed to fulfill another core tenet of the company’s brand promise: To exceed expectations.
- Leadership walked the talk with employees. It always wanted to exceed employee expectations where it could, ensuring everyone had clear direction and goals and frequent interaction with company leadership to ensure strong communication channels. Also, leadership and management focused on always doing the right thing and having integrity when it came to employee matters.
- When people see that you’ll do the right thing, not just the most self-interested thing—and when they see that you want to wow them, they’ll inevitably trust you more. What does this do? Build relationships. Spot on with the company’s brand promise.
- How about its passion for golf? The company encourages its employees to get out on the course for pure enjoyment—nothing better than to be outside on a beautiful day!—and to use its products when doing so, which makes it all the easier for employees to get behind the company’s wares and advocate for them to friends, family, associates, and the general public. Even better: Encouraging employees to get out and play attracts potential employees who love golf. (Another win!)
Early-stage companies need to focus on the basics of getting up and running. Typically, companies don’t define brand promises, values, and attributes until they have their legs under them and have made some distance down the start-up path. Further, defining a brand promise toward solidifying corporate culture tends to be something only worthwhile when you have a decently sized employee base.
Yet when the time comes, crafting a brand promise to define and enact corporate culture can pay dividends on multiple levels.
Is the time right for you? Call FrogDog.
Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net