Recently, we’ve been asked to speak to professionals all over the country to share our expertise on branding and culture. Since it seems to be a top-of-mind topic, we thought we’d share what we know with our with our food friends who may not be attending the same conferences as we are.
Before we dive in, there are a couple things you should know about C.O.nxt.
- We love branding. We love it because branding is everything. It’s much more than a logo, a font or a set of colors. Branding, in a word, is a promise. A promise about what you’ll deliver, how you’ll operate and—most importantly—how you’ll make people feel when they interact with you. Because that’s what influences decisions. People don’t buy what you do, they buy who you are—if they like it.
- We’re employee-owned. As an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan), we take ownership culture very seriously. We’re determined to give our employee-owners opportunities to be heard and affect the direction of our agency. Whether you’re an ESOP or not, giving your staff opportunities to be heard and feel a part of the process can and will have positive implications for your culture and your organization. But we’ll get into what those implications are further down.
Great. Now that we’ve communicated the caveats, let’s start to answer the question you clicked for. How can building your brand build your culture at the same time?
Let’s start with brand. In order to build your brand, you need to dig deep into who you are and why you exist. You have to discover what makes you different and how you can connect with consumers on a level none of your competitors have. And you have to be open and honest about where you fall short and how you plan to be better in the future.
As for building culture, you have to help make your employees feel valued. Give them a voice. Help them find a purpose for why they’re with you other than the numbers on their pay stub. Because the more they feel they’ve been heard and are making an actual difference, the more they’ll want to show up and show out, day after day.
There are a number of ways you can go about accomplishing both of these. But we have one method that we not only designed and have successfully implemented with many of our clients, but used on ourselves when we rebranded in 2020. So we’ve both seen and experienced the power it can have. And that powerful method is Brand Camp.
What is Brand Camp?
You can learn all about Brand Camp here. Brand Camp is a one-day (or half-day, or weekend retreat, it’s up to you) session in which multi-departmental, multi-level members of your organization get in a room (physically or virtually) and work together to dig up the building blocks of your brand. Through fun, interactive and collaborative exercises, you’ll uncover key insights about your higher purpose, your true onlyness, your brand personality and tone, and much more. Which exercises you choose and who is in the room are up to you depending on what you want to find out about yourself.
How does Brand Camp help strengthen my culture?
The gift of voice is a powerful thing. By asking for the participation of team members who don’t usually feel empowered to speak, you give them a sense that they matter and that they can make a difference. No, not everyone will have a say in the final decision. It’s not a vote. But just by having their voices heard, you can gain their commitment without having consensus, and you will see more energy behind your new brand and refreshed business.
And the cultural benefits don’t end there.
So if you need a whole new brand or just want to breathe life into or pressure test your current brand, contact your branding experts to see if Brand Camp is right for you. Warning, side effects may include a motivated, engaged team and a refreshing new outlook on your future and possibilities.
Want help designing and/or leading your own Brand Camp, or simply want to learn more? Contact Marcy Tessmann, firstname.lastname@example.org.