07 Nov Branding on Any Budget – Your Culture is Your Brand
One of the simplest and most powerful branding messages I learned from my mother. She would often say that no matter how much money you have, you always could choose to have clean curtains hanging at your windows.
The lesson she was imparting was that no matter a person’s financial situation, we each hold the responsibility to demonstrate we care about what we do and what we have. My mother created this culture within our family, and I carried this simple lesson with me throughout my marketing career while working for private companies to multi-billion dollar global corporations.
Whether a company’s marketing budget is millions of dollars, tens of thousands, or zero, a company’s brand is being communicated.
Take a look at your company’s building. Whether your offices are in a skyscraper downtown or inside a one floor metal building, does it say we care about, love what we do and are excited to share it with others? As you walk through the hallways, what written and unwritten messaging do you see? What kinds of conversations are taking place?
How your receptionist answers the phone, greets your customers, employees, prospective employees and your vendors, represents your brand. If you have no one greeting anyone, this also sends a brand message. Think it’s not important how you present yourself to vendors who just want to sell you something? Think again. Your vendors are frequent travelers out in the marketplace and they love to share their experiences with your customers, your potential employees and your competitors.
Branding messages are communicated in many ways besides your paid advertising or website. How your employees speak to others about your company outside of work speaks for your brand. Whether or not your company’s logo is embroidered on clothing, it matters what you, your sales representatives and even your non-customer facing employees wear to work. The way in which you communicate (or fail to communicate) new hires and promotions sends a message about your brand. How you share your vision, celebrate success or regroup and rally after shortfalls all transmit signals to others.
A company’s culture and its brand are intricately connected. As a CEO, no matter the size of your marketing budget, you hold the most powerful asset in your hands. The ability to create and promote a positive, thriving culture is one of the most effective branding tools you possess. Are you aware of its power to grow your company’s revenues and profits?
From the image being projected outside your building (the landscaping and walkways) to the conversations taking placing inside and outside its walls, your brand – your culture is at work for you and it’s either adding or subtracting value.
Branding messages are not just the role of the marketing department. They start from the top and trickle down through the corporation and out into the marketplace.
Your culture is your brand.
Successful branding can occur on any budget.