/how to invite people into your brand culture_

Your organization has a spirit to it, that can either be good or bad. If it goes uncultivated, useless weed seeds grow every which way. If you nurture that spirit and cultivate something with substance you can do great things as a company.

This is true of businesses of all kinds. Departments and teams. Whole non-profit organizations. You have to be intentional about your brand culture and it’s voice. The way it speaks and brings forth ideas into the world. The way it solves problems. That’s part of its soul.

The soul operates by what it must do. It’s guided by an inner yearning. When it doesn’t have an inner yearning it does nothing. It waits for the body to croak.

That’s how it works in an organization. It just chugs along with a few toxic people and nobody’s happy until it runs out of money and it croaks.

I’ve seen that come the hard way. I’ve lived it. It’s not a place you want to be.

That’s why the whole branding process is so important. It’s more than a logo at this point. It’s the whole being of the company. Seth Godin said that branding is what people expect of you when you walk into the room. It’s everything about your organization.

The culture you create with your team is magnetic. Even for your customers. They want to be a part of what you’re doing when you do it so well that nobody can take their eyes off of you.

They’ll literally wear you brand as a badge of honor because of how it makes them feel about themselves. That’s what intentional culture does.

Here’s how you make an invitation to your brand.

First you have to get in front of them. But don’t you dare interrupt anybody’s day unless you are going to entertain or enlighten. You’ve got to do one or the other.

If your offer is simple and something that someone is contemplating doing on their own before they hire, enlighten them on how to do it. Giving people knowledge doesn’t always translate into giving them skill. Go ahead and ask a builder how to build a home. He may give you a lot of pointers but that doesn’t mean you can build a house on your own. That would be absurd in today’s age. You’d give up on that ambition straight away and then that builder would be the first you called.

If your offer is overly complex or hardly any different from your competitors go with entertainment. You won’t have to outperform the competition, you’ll just have to out wit them. People will buy a lot of things emotionally and justify them logically. Look at all of the major insurance companies. I can’t think of anything more dry and complex than insurance. But people buy from the one who’s commercials move them the most.

It’s about resonating with another human being. When we find things we can resonate with we start to identify with them and identity is an essential characteristic of culture.

If a person identifies with your culture they are saying, “hey, that company sees the world how I see the world. And if I’m using their product or wearing their apparel or putting their sticker on the back of my laptop then maybe other people will know what I stand for. Maybe, I’ll be able to find someone who will identify with me because we share this common thread.”

There’s probably no better brand at this than Apple. Apple makes stuff cool because it decides it is cool. Absolutely nobody wanted to be that guy walking around with a Bluetooth earpiece. The Bluetooth guy was top ten “don’t be that guy.”

Apple announces the white bluetooth AirPods and then everyone gets them. And because they are white, they stand out. You know where they come from. You know who that person is. You have common ground. That matters. We operate today just like we didn’t in middle school. We find belonging through shared emblems. It’s the products we buy.

Maybe it’s not right but it’s how the world works. Even the most subterranean cultures have a shared gestalt. No group is 100% eclectic.

What matters is how you decide you are going to push the culture forward. We’ve seen our American culture push forward without intentionality. Without everyone showing up to vote. Without everyone thinking they matter. And we’ve gone to seed because of it. Intentionality matters.

You have to decide who you want your company to be. You have to find its voice; and stay true. Find that piece that is so human and honest that people can’t help themselves. They want to be apart of what you’re doing.

You have to produce. Get in front of people and be genuine. Don’t pretend. Don’t retreat into something you’re not. Be you out loud. Pursue your interests related to the business. Don’t be afraid to geek out. Stay focused on being true. Use a medium that makes sense to you. Find the one that comes easiest and persist. Don’t give up until you hit your metrics.

You do that and no matter the level of success you reach, the actual success will be in the level of happiness you achieve for living your authentic life. Be you.

Even if your team is large. Even if you’re not the leader. Be you. Every individual of the company makes up the collective culture. That’s what brings the spirit alive. When everyone is being an extra version of themselves.

Create an atmosphere of support. Let your people live out loud. Let the threads they sew become part of the tapestry.

Then invite your customers to be a part of it.

If you don’t know much about me yet on the professional side. I work with companies who are trying to automate their marketing funnels and drive more business. My design and tech team and I do this through helping companies design and build a booking site that puts appointments right on their calendar using WP and the Periodic platform. I’m very happy to make new business friends and have whiteboard sessions. Let’s collaborate! Hop on my calendar anytime.

Torlando Hakes | Author | Speaker | Podcaster

Director of Business Development at Periodic

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Torlando Hakes

Torlando Hakes

Author of Sprint | Craftsman Painter