The brand as an internal cultural carrier

Brand building has gained an increasingly prominent position in management teams’ efforts to attract and retain both customers and talents. Increasingly refined measurement methods can follow the brand funnel from attention to actual conversion and branding has now changed from a policing design function to become the foundation for all external touch points.

A series of blog posts about Differ’s portfolio of solutions. During the fall we publish five blog posts with a deep dive into the areas that are key in order to obtain sustainable growth. This time: Boost brands.

From ambassador to influencer

In a transparent and social world, the individual employee becomes an increasingly important carrier of the brand, and here, leading brands are putting more and more focus. Building a unique culture makes employees credible and true “influencers”, where the opportunity to broadcast the brand vision still is an untapped opportunity.

Who knows more about where you are going and what you want to achieve than your own staff? And who can present it in a more credible and honest way? A prerequisite is an active work with the internal culture – and here the brand becomes the natural epicenter.

The key to building the internal culture is primarily a combination of the vision and the brand values. The vision should be designed to motivate and respond to the “why”-question. “Moreover, if the vision is aimed at a higher purpose, showing how we can contribute to a better world together, it will become even stronger. Especially millennials see this as a natural and necessary component of an employer value proposition, and companies that do not see themselves in a broader context risk losing competence or become rejected by top candidates. The vision becomes the bridge between senior management and the individual employee, which means that a spontaneous conversation by the coffee machine feels completely natural despite distance through hierarchies or seniority.

The brand values, on the other hand, guide in how we behave both towards each other and in interaction with the world around us. It becomes a support in everyday life and influences everything from the tonality of the Outlook invitation to the design of public office space.

Both brand vision and brand values should be felt as something the individual employee possesses, a tool both for doing a better job and for explaining to the neighbor why one chose to work right here.

“Both brand vision and brand values should be felt as something the individual employee possesses, a tool both for doing a better job and for explaining to the neighbor why one chose to work right here.”

Ball pits, closed coffee shops, new titles and smart system support

We have all heard about how a technology giant allocates 20% of the working time to its employees own projects and design offices as adult playgrounds where slides connect the floor and the meeting rooms are filled with ball pits. The same company is by far the most attractive employer and ranked year after year as one of the world’s strongest brands.

A company in the utility industry uses smart system support to engage all of its employees in a continuous program to discuss how the brand vision can be put into practice and how brand values are translated into principles for employee interaction.

The world’s leading coffee chain closed down the entire US business and made all 175,000 employees go through a training on gender equality and racism, following an incident in Philadelphia, contrary to the brand values.

Studies based on more than 7000 respondents show that the cost of attracting new employees is halved if you have a strong internal culture and a strong brand. Furthermore, you are up to three times more likely to attract senior executives. Another study from the reputable Stanford University shows a clear link between stock price, reputation, profitability and the internal culture. We also see a movement where organizations in the forefront are taking steps to capture the value of the internal culture by establishing the role of a “Chief Cultural Officer” in the C-suite.

In order to successfully build the brand, internal culture needs to be a natural ingredient, both enabling proud employees and contributing to the bottom line. Differ is a leading brand specialist in all disciplines related to brand development; Positioning, Architecture, Strategic Communication, Naming, Identity, Activation and Tracking.

Watch out for our next post on our second solution area, Innovate Offerings.

Want to know more? Contact Clara Boëthius or Johan Johansson.

Differ support companies and organizations on their journey of sustainable growth.
We work within all topline related disciplines. We understand how to build a brand, what creates a positive customer experience and the driving forces behind revenue generation. In this blog series we will present our point of view, our experiences, trend observations, and more, related to sustainable growth: Design customer experiences, Boost brands, Innovate offerings, Optimize customer lifecycle, and Transform frontline processes.

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