3 Reasons Office Culture Drives Your Brand
By Jessica Kelly
Office culture is the cornerstone of good branding. Now you know the secret. Branding is perhaps one of the most misunderstood sciences, and continues to be poorly executed – selling many amazing people (and products) short.
A good brand is a feeling you create, not a color you choose. Every person associated with your brand makes up that emotional message, and it is advertised in actions, not words. Through your good intentions, you have the power to harness the feelings that create lifelong brand loyalty and psychological connection.
1. You spend more time at work than you do with your family.
Your work is your life. Many entrepreneurs understand this about themselves, but fail to extend that logic to their hires. People’s desire to feel needed and important is strong. In fact, it is a stronger motivating factor than money. When a person feels like their work is not appreciated or important, they are no longer motivated to use their time and brainpower to further the company.
When an employee views themselves as a valuable part of a team, and knows that their efforts go not only to benefit their families, but the families of co-workers they care about, suddenly minds begin to solve problems that you didn’t know existed.
When you treat the time that your employee gives to you like the valuable asset that it is, your employee knows it and returns the favor by providing quality work. Brand loyalty comes from genuine quality in your products and services over time. Without happy employees, your brand can’t grow. Without growth, you might as well close up shop.
2. If you understand the needs of your employees, they will be more open to understand the needs of your company.
The movie Office Space embodies this concept well. The fictional tech company displayed a giant sign in their office that read, “Is This Good For the Company?” An office full of disgruntled employees rolled their eyes at the sign and went right along doing the least amount of work they could do to keep their jobs. It’s not that it is a sin to ask your employees to think about the company’s bottom-line, it’s just that asking someone who hates you to think about your best interests is preposterous.
Think of an employee/employer relationship as a transaction. An equal transaction of goods or services for a fair market price. It’s a win/win for both as long as both sides provide equal value. If your employee gives you the best part of their life and mind, but you pay them less than a market wage for their services or create a negative living experience, they will feel taken advantage of and not only stagnate your brand but sabotage it.
If you are consistently asking more of your employees than you give to them emotionally, you are in danger of creating anger and anger breeds malicious intent.
3. You reap what you sow (no more, no less)
We hear several startup clients tell us that they expect a lot from their employees because they are a startup. “Everyone needs to roll up their sleeves now to build our brand, and that is how it will be successful in the long run,” they say. Then, when we have the money, we can invest more in our culture.
That sounds beautiful, but it’s a load of crap.
Just like you can’t build a house without first investing in your tools, you can’t build a brand without investing in the people who embody it. We’re not advocating that you increase your salaries and benefits and go broke before you get started. We’re saying that you should spend an equal amount of time building your brand’s culture as you do in building the product itself. Your culture drives the forward momentum of the company, and begs to be taken seriously.
When we talk about building culture, we mean building positive emotions associated with a common mission that benefits everyone equally. This work includes real listening, and a willingness to change your strategy to accommodate a greater whole.
When your employees are as emotionally invested in your business as you are, you won’t have to ask them to put in extra hours and brainpower to make a splash. They will do it with a passion. Then, when you start to build logos and pick color schemes, your brand will truly come alive.
Team and Culture specializes in branding that captures both the emotional and aesthetical needs of your company. Contact us to learn more about how we can help.