Sure, most people would agree with the statement “company culture is important”.
But when it comes to discussions about business success, development, and profitability, company culture tends to quickly shift into “soft” or subordinate territory.
A company’s culture is often thought of in terms of attracting, hiring, and retaining talent — but when leveraged as part of a larger overall marketing strategy, a strong organizational culture is also a tool for attracting prospects and retaining customers.
Culture is just as important for attracting the right customers as it is for hiring the right talent. Here's a framework for leveraging your company's culture to connect you with the right prospects.
Company culture is more than plaques on a wall, the occasional all-company outing, or free snacks.
Company culture is not a set-and-forget thing or something you put on your calendar and check off every quarter.
Your company’s culture drives work environment, mission, expectations, values, ethics, behavior, strategy, and decision-making. If you’re stuck, your culture shapes the course of action forward.
It takes a lot of intentionality, planning, and leadership to have a well-defined and broadly understood corporate culture. But in the end, honing in your company culture will grow your business from the inside-out.
Differentiate your brand to stand out from the pack.
Culture shows your customers what you stand for. Just like you attract employees based on your culture, you can attract prospects that are aligned with what you do and why you do it.
Create a culture that customers want to be a part of and support. In doing so, you’ll forge strong connections with your audience by resonating with them at their core.
But to leverage your company’s culture as a competitive advantage to attract prospects, your company’s culture needs to highly visible and easily understood by your audience.
Don’t confine your culture to a poster on the wall — embolden and embody your company's culture inside and outside by establishing a culture committee or point-person, bringing your values out into the community through service projects or programs, aligning your culture with your branding, and putting it front and center on your website and social media accounts.
Culture is how you do business—internally and externally.
Your company’s culture starts within.
Employees are your company’s greatest asset — not just for accomplishing day-to-day operations, but for driving company performance and growth. Our recent article on empowering employees as brand ambassadors goes in-depth on how engaging your team is also great for marketing.
As the reader’s digest version, when engaged and empowered, employees:
- Build brand awareness
- Shape public perception
- Recruit stellar new talent
- Drive company culture
When your team feels like they have a seat at the table in driving the company forward, they’ll be happier, stay longer, and perform better.
Culture also empowers your team to go above and beyond for your customers. When they have a strong understanding of the company culture, employees will have a solid framework for making good decisions and have an increased sense of ownership over issues.
Does it get any bigger or more successful than Netflix? Check out their robust and highly specific company culture that drives their success.
For successful companies, corporate culture and business success go hand-in-hand. By honing in on your company’s culture, you’ll pinpoint what values animate your business model, why your employees come to work every day, and what makes your customers choose to do business with you.