I was with a couple of senior corporate business managers during the weekend, debating the issue of franchises and which ones would make a good investment. They had a number of great insights from profitability, location, price and industry. Their main focus however was branding. The information they were sharing with me focused on the importance of the culture of a specific company and how businesses should capture their brand culture on paper to create a trustworthy brand no matter the size of the business.
Most franchises are about service and creating a great shopping experience, hence there is a lot to learn from them regarding the brand culture of a business. The entire customer experience is planned for effective and consistent delivery across many markets. After assessing a number of great examples comprising of both national and international companies, these are the key lessons every business owner can learn about developing a brand culture:
1. Create a compelling vision
A strong vision is important so that you as the founder can have and be able to share your clear idea of ‘what’ we are trying to achieve together with all stakeholders. A clear vision also helps with continuity as different people may join and leave the business. The best vision statements are clear and short so people can share them effectively at all levels.
“Your company culture needs to be able to shift and respond to feedback”
2. Determine your purpose
When a team begins to understand why we pursue particular goals, the goal of maintaining excellence and innovative thinking becomes greater than the business, and the need to improve grows the team in efforts to do more towards the purpose.
3. Align your business model
Your business model needs to accommodate the goals set, the vision and purpose of the business. Your company culture needs to be able to shift and respond to feedback.
4. Create unique/WOW factors
In a business environment where competition is constantly growing, we have to ask ourselves brutally what it is that we are selling and how it is adding value to clients. Based on this, a company can create unique factors about their brand communication that breaks through the clutter.
5. Clarify your values
Values can be divided into personal and business values, both should be consistent with the brand you are developing as most businesses are true to the values of its owners. It is imperative that these values are consistent as they shape the culture of the company and will either be supported or pushed back by stakeholders.
In conclusion, build great cultures for sustainability.
Let’s do great things!
See also from Karabo Songo: The big branding question is, who has it and who doesn’t?
About the author: Karabo Songo is the Group founder and MD of Olive Communications, a full-service strategic communications agency. He is passionate about building innovative marketing businesses and brands within Africa with a difference and grow entities into profitable assets for shareholders. Follow him at on Twitter @ mr_k_s.