25 August 23
Brand culture is the lifeblood of a business, referring to the promises, expectations, and goals of a business. It serves as a business's ethical compass, organizing priorities, and delivering meaningful experiences to both employees and customers. Brand culture can be a key factor to differentiate one business apart from the competition. A solid brand culture allows companies to accentuate a clear purpose and employ it as a guiding principle for their daily operations, from brand expression, customer interaction, to hiring decision. It unites the team and improves customer relationships, reflecting the brand's purpose. Instead of merely projecting a public image through customer-focused marketing, the brand becomes an intrinsic part of the company, conveyed from within and reflected outwardly.
The success of brand culture involves everyone's participation. While it may begin with employees and internal values, a well-implemented brand culture evolves into a natural, dynamic, and living concept, impacting everyone connected to a brand. Companies out there have been successfully implementing their brand culture, for instance, Airbnb, Patagonia, and TOMS.
Airbnb centers its identity around hospitality and connection. Going beyond business, it launched an employee volunteering program. Every month, their team dedicates four hours to local communities hosting guests. With Airbnb.org, Airbnb extends their support during crises like natural disasters, COVID-19, and geopolitical conflicts. This highlights Airbnb brand culture, which centered around empathy and belonging for the greater good. Similarly, the clothing company Patagonia sets itself apart by strongly prioritizing nature, communities, and the spirit of caring for others as their core principles. Their dedication to environmental causes is unwavering, demonstrated through their commitment to allocate 1% of total sales to support environmental groups. Patagonia doesn't just talk the talk; they actively engage in sustainable practices. Their advertising campaigns brought attention to the fashion industry's environmental impact, while offering repair services for old products and providing recycling and swapping options. An inspiring act to their corporate leadership is Patagonia's billionaire owner's decision to give away the entire company to fight against Earth's climate crisis. This act underlines Patagonia's deep awareness of the shared responsibility we share in protecting our planet.
TOMS has also embraced ethical business practices, caring for society through various initiatives. The brand invests ⅓ of profits in grassroots programs, partnering with community organizations and providing cash grants to improve lives. Their commitment to the environment is evident in their use of earthwise materials and selling preloved items. Internally, they foster diversity, equity, and inclusivity, with employees actively participating in volunteering activities. This reflects TOMS' three main focuses: purpose, people, planet, dedicated to making a positive impact on both people and the planet.
Companies such as Airbnb, Patagonia, and TOMS exemplify the significance of brand culture in creating sustainable and purpose-driven businesses. Through tangible actions, they pave the way for a responsible and inclusive future amid global challenges. Brand culture encompasses genuine, human, and emotional elements that fuel a company's growth, emphasizing unique purposes and values that set them apart. Implementing a strong brand culture offers various advantages: differentiation, engaged employees, and loyal customers. Consistent messaging and experiences strengthen brand recognition, while attracting top talent ensures innovation and adaptability. A compelling brand culture fosters a positive organizational environment, leading to sustained success and longevity.
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