What's culture got to do with it?
I've written and spoken (a lot) about brand. What it is and what it isn't.
It's a favourite soapbox of mine.
Over the years, I've been asked many times to "create a brand."
As soon as I begin to ask questions about their customer service, internal culture, market position, etc., I am often met with that deer-in-the-headlights look.
They aren't really asking for help with their brand. What they are saying is: "Create a logo for us."
Your logo, motto or slogan, the colours, fonts and images that you use represent your brand -- or what you think your brand is or want it to be.
Brand itself is quite different.
To define your brand, ask yourself some questions.
- How would you describe your business's culture?
- What behaviour do you recognize and reward among your employees?
- How do you think your customers would describe their experiences with you?
- How responsive are you to requests for service after the sale?
- Do you give back to your community?
- What kind of boss/communicator are you?
- What's your digital presence? Your tone?
Now ask your customers and your employees.
If they're being honest, their responses will tell you what your brand is -- for better or worse.
If you don't like it, you can do something about it.
Take heart. Be honest. Get help. Make sure that everything you say and do represents the brand you want to have.
You don't get many chances for a do-over so make this effort count.