5 Examples of Brand Building via Company Culture
At its heart and soul, content marketing is all about building a brand, and a company’s culture can and should be utilized in such efforts. Think about it—a brand in some ways has less to do with what products or services a company offers and more to do with who it is.
Is Nordstrom more known for what brands of clothing it sells or for its Cadillac status in the world of customer service? Do people go to Whole Foods to buy Annie’s Mac and Cheese (which they can buy at many “regular” grocery stores) or do they go there because they like the association with a socially responsible company? These are just two companies that have successfully built their brands around their company cultures. In fact, you could argue that the two things are so intertwined that it is hard to distinguish where one ends and the other begins.
Company Culture as Free Marketing
OK, so nothing is really free but a company culture does offer some of the best marketing value when it comes to brand building. When done right, you can use company processes, procedures and activities as marketing tools. Say what?! The best part is, if it’s a part of your company’s day-to-day activities anyway then it doesn’t disrupt normal operations or cost “extra” to do it.
Creating company videos that show off your brand’s personality is one great way to do this. Whether it’s a documentary-style video, a product/service video, or one that showcases the acting/comedic chops of your team, these are insights into the people behind the brand that potential customers appreciate. Taking pictures of charity events or team-building events and sharing them on social media is another great way to show people that you practice your core values and care about your employees. Also, internal company themes or rules based on core values like “honesty”, “fun” and “going the extra mile” rub off onto potential customers.
Creating a Premium Brand
Creating a premium brand first comes in the form of building a premium culture, and not vice versa. You’ll see in the next section that each of the brand examples we’ve highlighted show a focus on culture first and branding second. It started with someone (or a group of people) that cared a lot about what their business stood for, the types of people that they would be working with and how they would treat others. From there, the brand building culture turned into a way of life – and news of that started to spread organically and gain traffic and notoriety in all the right ways.
Anyone Can Build a Brand Culture Company
While the following companies have been smart to take advantage of marketing their brand culture in all the right ways, creating a culture with defining, business-changing core values isn’t exclusive to anyone. What sets the greats apart from the rest is that their core values aren’t just lip service – they literally are core to all that they do and every major decision in the company is weighed against them.
Building Brand Culture: 5 of the Best Brand Examples
The following five brand examples provide a unique and outstanding use of company culture to market a brand:
This company transformed the image of fast food restaurants. In an industry not exactly known for social responsibility, Chipotle showed it can and MUST be done. Their slogan Food with Integrity headlines on their company’s home page and is the topic of a video featured on ABC’s Nightline.
The rest of their core values echo those sentiments with statements like “Responsibly Raising the Bar”, and “Cultivating a Better World”. Because of their strong brand culture, they’ve also been able to increase prices on main food items without even batting an eye. Take that, Taco Bell.
The list of 10 core values espoused by Zappos covers everything from a focus on customers to personal humility to business efficiency. The company so believes in its values that the Zappos family culture blog post had previously announced that it will no longer post open jobs to which random people will submit resumes. Instead, people are invited to become Zappos Insiders and really learn about the company. Through their involvement, they will learn about jobs or be approached with opportunities. This exclusivity is a premium brand building opportunity because it ensures that their core values are protected and that consumers will continue to get the same great customer service and products that they’ve come to expect.
Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh, even published a book entirely about the company culture at Zappos. It’s been a best-seller among business communities and is a crash course in creating a company culture that delivers happiness to both employees, customers and others. In fact, it was so popular they now have an entire side of their business dedicated to helping other companies with their brand building through company culture.
For starters, more than 100 million children have been given shoes thanks to purchases of TOMS shoes around the world. Consumers everywhere happily paid a nice price for their rather simple shoes knowing that they were helping those in need. The company has lived up to its socially conscious image with TOMS Eyewear and TOMS Roasting Company joining the ranks.
The volume of content devoted to such efforts on their website alone gives credence to how well this culture has worked as a viable marketing vehicle. There are many other brand examples of other companies trying to do the same thing, but TOMS did it first, and have done it better.
#4 Dollar Shave Club
The Dollar Shave Club goes far beyond simply delivering affordable, smooth shaves and hilarious, viral videos. Their strong focus on evangelizing the efforts of their employees through the DSC Member spotlights encourages good citizenship and promotes their brand like nothing else could.
They also advocate strongly for the Colon Cancer Alliance and even went so far as to put a video of their CEO’s first colonoscopy on their blog for registered users. These guys created a paradigm shift when it comes to marketing. You don’t have to rely on cold professionalism and boring, emotionless marketing. Be true to yourselves, have fun and care about others and you can build an exciting, forward-facing company brand.
When it comes to a brand building culture, it’s probably safe to say they are shaving the way.
You knew we had to bring them into it. It would be all too easy for the world to dislike Google and it’s seemingly Big Brother activities. But, try as you might, you just can’t – at least not for too long. Who wouldn’t want to work at a company that treats its people so darned well and offers so many opportunities? On top of that, they place high value on innovation and experimentation. Allowing people to be themselves in a creative environment has proven to be conducive to incredible technology as well as a solid brand example.
As for content marketing at its finest, the film The Internship was a great way for the company to tout itself a few years back without really doing so. Nice job big bro.
Brand Building Examples Can Be Learned From
Cynics may say that brand building can hide many a sin but we prefer to put a positive spin on things and say that company culture can be used to market what deserves to be marketed. Every company has a culture and it is yours for the taking. Do not be shy about finding ways to incorporate your unique personality into your marketing efforts—it really can pay off—literally.
Check out some of our other content marketing posts for more tips and inspiration when it comes to brand building! You can also go to our core values page to see how we’ve incorporated company culture into everything we do at BKA.