Today, two things are clear. Culture is trending, and purpose-driven brands rise to the top.
Impactful brands are not only successful because of what they sell. Their success and influence also rests on vision, values and deeply held beliefs that act as a compass or ‘North Star’ to guide every decision. Companies such as Tesla have built purpose and culture into their business model from inception. Your company’s vision, values, voice, beliefs, and aspirations should drive your true purpose, not a marketing campaign.
Powerful brands have a VISION—something to truly believe in; a VOICE with a distinct point of view, and authentic story; a CULTURE with a strong sense of VALUES that people want to belong to; and a PROMISE that leans into the kind of future you want to create and delivers a remarkable customer and engaging team experience.
Genuinely delivering on your brand promise begins with every person in the company from sales and marketing to HR and operations knowing who you are, what you stand for, and why it matters.
How do you talk about vision with your team? Good leaders never underestimate the value of a clearly articulated vision because it gives those they lead something to aim for. Your vision leans into the future. A better future. It is a bold and human dream of how your company makes life better. When talking with your people about vision, deliver it with truth, conviction, confidence and assurance to stir their passions and fuel excitement. Celebrated former CEO of General Electric, Jack Welch, said, “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.”
Voice Tells the Story
You can’t expect others to believe in you if you cannot articulate what you believe. Your brand reaches into your customers’ heart and soul. It’s more than just a logo, nice workspace, or amazing design. Your VOICE tells the world what’s at the core of your brand. It is a consistent, unchanging presence and personality that is immediately recognizable across your marketing strategy, marketing approach, content and copy. It’s important not to confuse voice with tone though. Your content can be created in a variety of tones from friendly, to funny, to educational, depending on the piece.
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Culture Fuels Engagement
Culture and engagement have emerged to become top priority for companies of every size in all sectors. Culture plays a critical role in creating highly engaged workers, and can be the difference between companies that outperform their competition vs those which fail to grow.
A recent Gallup research report states that “A staggering 87% of employees worldwide are not engaged. Many companies are experiencing a crisis of engagement and aren’t aware of it.” It goes on to say, “Companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share.”
A highly engaged team fuels creativity, innovation, and superior customer and employee experiences. However, there is shared accountability when it comes to building a strong culture. It begins with leadership working together for something bigger. Executive visibility and validation creates buy-in and silences critics. Engagement comes to life across an organization with clarity, focus, and sustained effort—from HR to marketing, sales, communications, customer care, technology, and operations.
VALUES DEFINE WHY
While values don’t directly determine failure or success; they create conditions for unity, integrity, and satisfaction. Values and beliefs show what you stand for, and how you are different. They create a dynamic equilibrium together with VISION to define WHY a company exists beyond making a profit.
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Your brand exists in the hearts and minds of the people you intend to serve. A purposeful PROMISE transforms the way your company creates strong and meaningful connections with people. Your brand isn’t what you say it is. It’s what they say it is. Promise operates deep within your company across all sectors. It is an investment in serving your customers’ needs—and going beyond that to earn their loyalty, trust, and evangelism. Of course, it’s only good when kept, so if you don’t deliver what you promise, your company’s reputation, sales and employee engagement could decline.
Future-Proof Your Brand
It’s hard to go back and re-engineer company culture. That’s why it’s important to establish it as early in the game as possible. However, even long-standing companies can transform to realize unprecedented business results when they share a relentless commitment across the business to manifesting their purpose. Now, more than ever, it’s important to take a stand for your company’s future by intentionally upping your game to sustain your brand’s evolution over the long term.