Corporate Eye

Leveraging Company Culture for Brand Storytelling

brand storytellingHow do you come up with ideas for brand storytelling? Buyer personas can become characters and consumer problems can become story conflicts, but brand stories should cover external and internal stories. To effectively communicate your brand promise through brand storytelling, you need to tell the whole story.

This is where your company culture can become a source of many brand story ideas. A powerful company culture that executives truly live and which trickles down through all levels of the organization can become a story unto itself. Just look at Zappos to see how a company culture can become the brand story.

Company culture must support the brand promise and it must permeate into every consumer experience with the brand. If your company culture runs counter to your brand promise, then consumers will be confused and turn away from your brand.

With that in mind, company culture isn’t just a Human Resources function. It’s every department’s and every employee’s responsibility. If your organization effectively communicates its culture to employees, holds leaders and employees accountable for living the brand promise, and empowers employees to make decisions on a daily basis in support of that culture, then employee and company performance should improve. This improvement positively affects your brand and how consumers perceive it.

Think about your company culture. Does it support your brand promise? If so, consumers want to hear about it. They want to know that the brand they’re loyal to is backed by a company they can trust from end to end. Therefore, company culture should be included in your brand storytelling. It re-affirms what consumers perceive of your brand and deepens their emotional connection to the brand and thus, deepens their loyalty and advocacy of the brand.

Bottom-line, company culture can be a powerful marketing device if it truly supports your brand promise and the company actually prioritizes it. If your company does, then start leveraging that company culture for brand storytelling as soon as possible. If your company doesn’t, then talk to leadership about reinventing your company culture to improve results, boost employee morale, jumpstart marketing, and spark brand storytelling.

Remember, consumers want to understand the entire brand story. It’s up to you to find those stories and company culture is one of the most important.

Image: stockers9

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as MSNBC.com, BusinessWeek.com, TodayShow.com, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.
 
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