If you are a regular reader of our blog, just know we appreciate you, but we also understand that you might feel like we’re beating a dead horse with today’s topic; but it's only because it’s sooo important. Of course, we're talking about the sweet sweet fung shuei of your brand, your culture, consistency and alignment. We’re seeing a huge influx in conversations surrounding diversity, culture and brand and plenty of companies are releasing public statements on how they’re going to change and/or become more inclusive. The problem is, too many of them treat it as a separate process from their brand. Why? Well, we don’t think they see the bigger picture.
Most of us that have gone to business school remember the concept of the synergy effect; 1+1=3. While it is mainly a concept used in terms of M&A (Mergers & Acquisitions), it applies in so many different areas of our organizations.
In fact, branding is in many ways a synergy effect, the point of branding is essentially to create a combined effect of your efforts that is greater than the added effect of all your single efforts. That’s why we brand; to catapult your business into the stars! Strong branding creates a cohesiveness and equity that enables businesses to market and sell at a capacity they would not otherwise be able to.
The point is that it's imperative to understand that your brand is everything. Literally, every area of your business. And in order to create that catapult of sales into the stars, all of your efforts must align with your brand, even your H&R and diversity initiatives. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not against diversity initiatives, quite the opposite, diversity is one of our core values. But we propose not to implement them just to implement them, but strive for diversity while staying true to your core culture and your core brand - whatever that looks like.
Wait a minute, what is my culture? You say. Well, we’re glad you asked. If you haven’t already, take some time to carve out your core values. This might seem like a tedious exercise when you are trying to juggle a business in the middle of a pandemic, but like they say there is no time like the present, and we promise if you invest a little time now you will reap the benefits in the future as your team grows.
To get started on your core values pick 3-5 concepts that you want your team AND your company to embody. And don’t sell yourself short by saying “We complete our work on time per the agreement outlined in our contracts.” That’s a given. Any business should do that. Don’t even say “We’re kind and honest.” That SHOULD be a given as well. So to summarize; being honest and fulfilling your agreements on time are not core values, that’s operating a business.
So dig deeper, really think about what you want your dream company to look like. Is it fun and flirty? Academic and serious? Rugged and edgy? Get creative! But if you find yourself stuck on honesty and fulfilling your agreements, then think about what that really means. Why is that so important for you and your business? Maybe you realize that what it really means to you is a level of neighborly integrity and kindness, the kind you experienced in your neighborhood growing up where everyone was always ready to offer a helping hand, well now we’re getting somewhere!
How does this neighborly integrity as a core value change how you do business? How does it affect your brand? How does it affect the people you hire? Let’s say you decide that it means that you want to treat every customer like your neighbor, then your tone of voice, website, visuals and so forth, should be welcoming and inviting. Maybe the helping hand aspect becomes a loyalty rewards program or a non-profit initiative! Whatever it is, we can't stress enough that your employees need to embody these values as well. And so do YOU and the culture you build. That’s what we want to emphasize today, do not think they’re separate processes or that you should treat them differently. Understand what movements like diversity, culture, inclusion, eco-friendly means for your brand and then live up to them.
But don't worry we have a lot to say on this subject and we will be diving deep this year so stay tuned…