Culture is the heart of your business – it’s a singularexpression of who you are, what you believe in and how you plan to treat othersand succeed. For brands, culture poses a strategic opportunity that goesfurther than demographic and psychographic insights and plays an elemental rolein building brand identity and customer loyalty.
Start with People
Culture is your way of doing things and it supports theenvironment in which your business grows and develops relationships. Fromtop-level management to entry-level employees, your brand culture should besomething everyone can share.
In branding, it starts with thinking about more thancustomers, but thinking about the people and culture with which those customerswill interact. Memorable, impressionable brand cultures have the right people.
At MESH, it’s the people who define our culture. We believethat inspiring work is the result of the best creative minds coming together,not to all think alike, but to use their differences to produce unique workthat makes an impression.
Within your company, you want to employ empowered people whowill apply all their talent and energy to inspire those around them. As aresult, that collective passion and vivacity will come to define your brand andentice customers to experience your culture for themselves.
Make it a Lifestyle
We naturally gravitate to people who share our interests,right? Well the same concept applies to how your brand culture should attractcustomers. It’s as easy making your brand culture a lifestyle.
Consider how Patagonia, an outdoors lifestyle brand,affiliates itself with an environmentally conscious way of life, or howCoca-Cola promotes a culture of “happiness” to develop a direct, emotionalaffiliation with a happy way of life.
What makes these brands so recognizable and successful isthat they have merged their products with a lifestyle that resonates with theircustomers. Consumers love a brand that feels familiar, and when your brandculture aligns with their personalities, values and lifestyles, you will earntheir trust and loyalty.
Different is Best
If your brand doesn’t stand out from the competition, thenhow do you expect it to stand out in the minds of consumers? Forgettable brandsblend in with their competition and often times fear doing something different.
Consumers are attracted to brands that know themselves, sofind what makes your company unique and own it.
Now, I’m not saying that you should be a noisemaker outthere, because it’s not enough to just get a conversation started. To win overcustomers, you need to communicate something of value. Focus on the “why”behind your brand; the reason for a consumer to choose your brand over another.
Standing out from the competition and in the minds ofconsumers is the result of your company proclaiming its authentic,unequivocal and possibly unusual values to the world without fear and withoutcompromise.
When we created the brand for Lit Pizza, we brought ideas tothe table that were bold, rebellious and even a little irreverent. Since LitPizza was an entirely new, fast-casual concept in Baton Rouge we were able toput a new spin on the pizza experience by applying a brand culture that embodiesits unique identity and positions the pizza restaurant above and beyond itscompetition.
When developing your brand culture, remember this: brand andculture have a mutual effect on customers and each other, and when each ofthose elements merge together, your brand will take on a life of its own andwin the loyalty of customers.