Communicating corporate Culture
If the past few years have taught businesses anything, it’s that a brand cannot be manufactured or its messages always controlled. Branding, now more than ever, is about the people—your customers. It’s in their hearts and minds that brands exist, and it’s their experiences and perceptions that can make a brand succeed, or fail. One of the keys to building a successful brand is thought by many marketing professionals and leadership teams to lie within the development of a solid corporate culture, one that is communicated consistently and frequently.

The best way to communicate corporate culture is often through storytelling. Specifically, the stories told to employees and the stories shared with and by customers. Beyond this storytelling, here are seven tips for communicating corporate culture:

  1. Share your history
    Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn. Awards and accolades are meant to be shared, as are smaller wins like store openings and new hires. Post this news on your company’s website and through social channels to spread excitement and start conversations.
  2. Talk vision and mission
    People are interested in your corporate culture. They want to know what makes your brand … your brand and if it’s something they can champion. Use marketing materials, your website and social platforms to talk about vision and mission. Find ways to keep your brand’s vision and mission top of mind internally as well, like imprinting them on notepads or coffee mugs and distributing these to employees.
  3. Reveal industry insights
    Offer value to audiences by becoming their go-to source for information. Example: When a piece of legislation that could impact Pandora® Radio’s business was introduced in the U.S. Senate, they turned to TwitterSM to educate listeners. They regularly updated their followers on the progress of the legislation. And then they thanked their followers for the support.
  4. Recognize and reward employees
    This can speak volumes of what is valued in your corporate culture, while at the same time reinforcing that it’s the very people that make that culture possible. Sweet gestures like pound cakes and chocolates are great for everyday wins, while plaques and statuettes are perfect for rewarding those that go above and beyond in a timeless and classy way.
  5. Profile customer successes
    It’s critical to not just share the company’s successes, but the successes of customers who have interesting and unique stories to tell. Research has indicated that people more often believe customer stories and testimonials over standard corporate communication.
  6. Be responsive
    As we all know, communicating isn’t just about talking. It’s about listening and what good is listening without responding? When customers or employees voice an opinion or share an experience—good or bad—acknowledge their perspective and correct a problem if you need to before it spreads across the internet webs or impacts other employees’ approaches to service.
  7. Ask questions about the future
    Regularly use survey tools and social media polls to find out what is important to customers—don’t wait for formal market research sessions. In a business climate that changes by the second, you can’t afford not to. Ask questions and listen to responses in order to stay relevant.

Corporate culture that is nurtured and communicated consistently and frequently is sure to set your brand up for success.  For more insight on corporate culture, check out our Blue Paper®!

 

Lauby, Sharlyn. “7 Secrets to Tweeting Your Corporate Culture.” Mashable. Web. 12 Dec. 2010.

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