It’s no secret that business these days is fiercely competitive. Companies will do whatever it takes to stand out from the crowd.
For a business to gain momentum, it must find innovative ways to showcase its products or services, introduce new marketing campaigns, and improve sales. However, one aspect of business that must be considered is company culture.
When new employees start at a company, their onboarding process typically includes a rundown of company culture. Human resources will share some of the company’s core values, its mission, and overall company goals. Although this is helpful for employees as they settle into their new position, sharing those factors with the outside world can benefit the company in more ways than one.
We’ll discuss the ins and outs of business culture and the benefits of marketing your company culture to future clients or employees. We’ll also get into some practical ways to market your culture so you can achieve business growth.
What Is Business Culture?
Business culture refers to an organization’s values, beliefs, and the accepted norms of behavior that all employees are expected to uphold. In addition, the policies, procedures, ethical considerations, and overall attitudes are contributing factors.
In short, culture is an intangible yet integral part of the success of an organization. Some companies take a laid-back, laissez-faire attitude to culture, while others have a formal culture with set expectations.
From an employee perspective, the culture of a business can impact daily workflow. When employees show up to work, how they’re received and valued at their company can impact productivity and overall happiness in the workplace. Culture plays a significant role in an organization’s success, whether that’s retaining top talent or prioritizing an employee’s professional development.
For businesses just starting, it’s vital to understand what their company culture should look like. A mission statement is a great place to start. Mission statements essentially describe company culture using only a handful of words.
You may be wondering, what’s “good” company culture? Are there specific characteristics that a business culture should have? Let’s explore some of the fundamentals of creating a solid culture.
Characteristics of Strong Culture
Businesses with a strong culture tend to perform better than those without. When employees know their organization’s values, they’re able to behave according to those values and live out their company’s mission daily.
Here are some common characteristics of strong business culture, which have the power to make or break a company:
- Effective communication
- Openness to feedback
- Diverse and inclusive
- Employee engagement
- Professional development
This is only a brief overview of some positive characteristics, but it provides some insight into what a strong culture could look like. Companies need to use these various characteristics to help formulate their culture.
It’s challenging to find an employee who loves every aspect of their job. Every job comes with its downsides, but creating a welcoming, inclusive, and positive environment makes up for them. Companies work hard to keep their employees happy through cultural changes and offering attractive and supportive benefits, for example.
Assessing Your Current Culture
When you’re aware of the factors that contribute to a strong culture, you’re better able to make adjustments to your current culture. Maybe your employees could benefit from more engagement or improved communication with the executive team. There’s no harm in identifying the gaps in your organizational culture. In doing so, you’re able to create a plan to improve your culture, which in turn could drive business growth.
Address the shortcomings of your culture by asking employees how they feel about it. Executives at a company should serve as role models for lower-ranking employees. If management is incorporating culture into their work, there’s a higher chance employees will follow.
It’s possible to include a third party to really get a sense of how your culture impacts your business performance. Consultants help you identify the areas of improvement that should be prioritized. For example, suppose your employees are generally happy but could benefit from more paid time off. In that case, there are ways to incorporate that into your operations. It’s impossible to make necessary changes without first understanding where your culture is falling flat.
Benefits of Marketing Your Culture
Marketing efforts fall lower on the list of goals for many businesses. However, focusing more energy and resources on sharing company culture through marketing offers some benefits. If you’re planning on marketing your culture, it’s essential to know how you’ll benefit. You’ll be able to reflect on your efforts and see if your plan was executed well.
Keep these rewards in mind if you’re considering marketing your business culture:
- Attract top talent: When professionals search for a job, they tend to review a company’s culture. If you’re marketing your positive culture, they’ll be more likely to apply for open positions within your organization.
- Gain new clients: Regardless of industry, clients you work with should feel that your partnership is worthwhile. If your company culture focuses on keeping clients satisfied, it will improve client retention and ultimately increase your return on investment (ROI).
- Engaged employees: If an employee knows their organization is pushing their company culture, it helps build a sense of trust between the two. Employees will genuinely believe the company is doing their best to maintain a positive culture by sharing it with others and will likely be happier in their position.
- Improved perception: Consumers will look at a company’s culture when making purchasing decisions. Connecting potential customers to your mission and values can be a determining factor in whether or not they want to buy your products or services.
One company that pushes its company culture is Warby Parker. Users can easily find their cultural priorities on their website, including excellent customer service, employee satisfaction, and sustainability efforts. When customers can see firsthand how a company fosters their culture, they’ll likely want to engage with the company, whether it’s working for them or purchasing their products.
It’s challenging to think of any drawbacks to promoting your company culture to outsiders. Transparency is a valuable tool that companies can use to connect with their potential customers and clients.
How can you market your culture? There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to any marketing plan, and it may seem daunting at first. Be sure to see this as an opportunity to further your business goals and stay ahead of your competition.
Effective Ways to Market Your Culture
Any marketing plan requires you to research, strategize, plan, and execute. Regardless of your marketing goals, you must follow these steps. Depending on your organization, your marketing department has to be aware that you’re trying to emphasize company culture. Then, your marketers are better equipped to execute their strategies while keeping culture in mind.
Here are some effective ways to market your culture so you can reap the benefits:
- Identify Your Target Audience
Before any strategizing takes place, it’s vital to identify who your audience is. Are you trying to reach potential customers or clients? Is it your goal to convert consumers within the marketing funnel? Maybe you want to re-target customers who failed to purchase your product or service. When you identify your target market, you’ll be able to begin the planning stages.
- Share Employee and Client Testimonials
The best way to showcase your company culture is to hear it directly from the employees who work day in and day out. Encourage them to submit testimonials and be sure to request feedback from the clients you serve. This will create a level of transparency that would generally be difficult to obtain.
- Host Company Events
In addition to testimonials, hosting events is an opportunity to discuss your company culture with guests. It may seem like a big task to take on, as you have other responsibilities to consider. However, small corporate events help connect your customers by engaging them with face-to-face interactions. It’s also a great way to network and encourage employees to enjoy time outside of work.
- Tell Your Story
Every company has a story, and you must be willing to share it. Whether it’s how you got started in your industry or the hardships you’ve overcome, humanizing your company is an excellent way for others to get a sense of your culture.
Customers are more distrustful of companies these days, but by sharing your story, customers will be more likely to resonate with you. This will lead to better customer engagement and could lead to more sales in the future.
- Refer to Your Mission Often
You should view your mission as the glue that holds your company culture together. A strong statement of purpose allows your company to thrive, and employees will naturally feel more engaged.
Using your mission in your marketing and advertising efforts gives you an advantage over competitors. It expresses your company’s personality, and customers and clients will get a better sense of how you operate. Creating a unique mission statement helps set your company apart from other businesses in your industry.
Foster a Positive Company Culture
Before you can successfully market your business culture, you must ensure that employees and executives feel satisfied with current protocols and procedures. The last thing you want for your business is to promote a weak or negative culture. This would do more harm than good to your success.
Identify areas of improvement before taking action. You’ll be better prepared to start planning your new marketing strategy and see your business thrive.